Due to arrangements arising from the coalition agreement Rutte I (2010), UWV WERKbedrijf (the Public Employment Service division of the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency UWV) was given the financial task of reducing the operating costs by €155 million as of 2015. This political decision led to the 2012 amendment of the SUWI (work and income reorganization) act. The essence of this amendment was that UWV would have to focus strongly on the accelerated development of digital services for job seekers. UWV has done so with the Redesign programme plan.

Digital services for people on unemployment benefits have evolved substantially since 2012. The savings target of €155 million was achieved, €139 million of which can be attributed to the Redesign programme. For some of the unemployed, face-to-face services will always be necessary in addition to digital services. About 9 percent of the people receiving unemployment benefits have no digital skills. They’re allowed to do all communication with UWV on paper. In the future the portion of people with no digital skills could drop to 7 percent of the unemployed. In addition, about 14 percent of them have limited digital skills. They can use the digital services, but to do so they need help in the form of face-to-face contact. To support people with no or limited digital skills, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment has made extra money available in the form of a familiarization budget.

Customer satisfaction with the services of UWV WERKbedrijf amongst the unemployed decreased between 2010 and 2012, followed by a partial recovery in 2013 and 2014. The satisfaction of employers with werk.nl is also on the rise since late 2012, whereas employer satisfaction with the overall services of UWV remains the same. On average, people on unemployment benefits are more satisfied with UWV’s face-to-face services (the personal contact with the work consultant) than with the digital services. Personal contact with the work consultant also results in a higher outflow to employment than digital services only. Whether or not the shift from intensive face-to-face mediation to more digital services has decreased the job prospects for the unemployed is unknown.