House of Representatives wants to revive social employment

People with disabilities need to be able to work in a protected working environment. A large majority of the Chamber wants a network of social development companies throughout the Netherlands, a new form of what was once the social workplace.

Coalition Party CDA and opposition party SP have a plan Getting Started in the Social Development Company to provide people with disabilities with a sheltered workplace. Also VVD, D66, ChristenUnie, PVV, PvdA, GroenLinks, Denk, 50Plus, and the MPs Krol and Van Kooten-Aaren are in favour of the implementation of the plan, as it turned out today in the vote in the House of Representatives.

Chance of work decreased

In 2015, when the Participation Act was introduced, the former Social Work Facility was closed. The idea of the then VVD-PVDA cabinet was to get people with disabilities, ranging from physical disabilities to mental disorders, to work with an ordinary company or institution, to a regular job with the help of the government.

In practice, the cabinet plan worked out badly, the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau (SCP) concluded in 2019. The chances of employment had decreased since the Participation Act and therefore people from the target group were more likely to receive benefits. Municipalities were also not encouraged to put this group to work.

National network

The CDA and the SP have now devised a different form of sheltered work: the Social Werkvoorziening Nieuwe Stijl or the Social Development Company. Not only can the people who used to go to the Social Employment Facility, but also people who have to integrate or want to reintegrate and from that development company are looking for a regular job.

A national network of social development companies must therefore be established in the Netherlands. It is still unknown when there will be, because the plan needs to be further elaborated.