MPs support major workers disability reform
1 July 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch parliament gave its backing to a landmark reform of the country's massively over-subscribed workers incapacity benefit system known as the WAO.
1 July 2005
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch parliament gave its backing to a landmark reform of the country's massively over-subscribed workers incapacity benefit system known as the WAO.
The new Werk en Inkomen naar Arbeidsvermogen (WIA), or work and income according to labour capacity, is meant to replace the WAO on 1 January 2006. The Senate (Eerste Kamer) must still vote on the WIA.
Labour (PvdA), the green-left Groenlinks, the Socialist Party (SP) and Christian party ChristenUnie voted against the WIA in parliament on Friday morning. The government parties and the populist LPF voted in favour.
The central change under the WIA is that only people who are totally incapable of working due to a work-related injury or illness will receive a full benefit.
People who are not 100 percent incapacitated will have to continue working as much as they can and receive a supplement for the portion they cannot work.
The WAO was introduced in 1967 and reforming the system has been a key political goal for years as the number of people claiming incapacity benefit rose to one million of the nation's 7.5 million-strong workforce.
If the numbers claiming work-related illnesses falls sufficiently under the new system, the benefit for people who are totally incapacitated will be increased from 70 percent to 75 percent of the last wage they earned. The penalty firms face when an employee becomes incapacitated due to a work-related condition will also disappear.
The new WIA will only apply to people who become incapacitated after 1 January 2006. The WAO will still cover workers incapacitated before that date.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news, WAO