State Secretary Van Ark of Social Affairs wants people who receive social benefits from the state to be obligated to either go to school or start working. According to RTL Nieuws, this could be an internship, volunteering work or even starting a language course.
Van Ark wants to lay down a national law and streamline how this should be uniformly implemented in all municipalities. Right now, there are a lot of differences in how this is running. For example, some municipalities do not require any counter-effort from beneficiaries of social assistance, while others regard a counter-effort as a commissioned activity. A few of them, and not all regard voluntary work as a counter-effort.
The government wants to change this and make it more organized. But how exactly do they want to do this?
How is the Netherlands going to determine what a “counter-effort” would be?
They want to lay down the law where they want to make sure that people receiving welfare are also giving something back. According to NU.nl, Van Ark believes that most of the people living in the Netherlands who receive social welfare would like to participate and contribute to society in some way or the other. But if they don’t want to do this, it should be made mandatory.
The municipalities can independently decide how exactly the person can fulfill this obligation. For example, this can be a work trajectory, informal care, or even Dutch language courses. However, it has to be determined according to what the person is capable of doing. Someone who is not very literate would take a longer time to learn Dutch or someone with a physical disability may not be able to some physically demanding work or volunteering.