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Note Burden on benefits by the flexible workforce 2006-2014


Publication number: 2016-46
Authors: S. van der Werff, L. Kroon & A. Heyma
Commissioned by: Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment
Published by: SEO Amsterdam Economics

This note presents an updated overview of the burden put on the social security system by flexible workers compared to permanent workers. It is a follow-up to a previous study by SEO. That study showed that workers in the flexible part of the labour market place a greater demand on social security. It concerns a greater burden on unemployment benefits, social assistance and sickness benefits. On the other hand do these workers place less of a burden on disability benefits. At the time, the survey included data up until and including 2010. By now, the same data is available for the period up until and including 2014. This note looks at the inflow into and the duration and amount of unemployment (WW), occupational disability (AO), social assistance (WWB) and other benefits.

The study shows that the total burden on WW benefits is higher for flexible workers than for permanent workers. In addition, the total burden on WW benefits is higher for long-term flexible workers than for short-term flexible workers. These differences are largely caused by the fact that flexible workers flow into WW benefits much more frequently. The inflow into AO and the benefit duration are similar for the three groups of workers, whereas the amount of AO benefits for both permanent and long-term flexible workers is higher than for short-term flexible workers. Consequently, the total burden on AO benefits is lower for short-term flexible workers. Short-term flexible workers have a relatively high inflow into social assistance and also receive relatively high social assistance benefits. Therefore, this group places a relatively great strain on social assistance. Both the inflow into social assistance and the average amount of social assistance benefits is relatively low for permanent workers. However, permanent workers receive social assistance benefits for a longer period of time than flexible employees. Nevertheless, the overall burden put on social assistance by permanent workers is relatively low.


Category: 2016, Lennart Kroon, Arjan Heyma, Siemen van der Werff, Labour & Education