Work in Perspective. Labour Participation in the Netherlands

The labour participation rate needs to rise. Too few people in the Netherlands are performing paid work. In view of the increasing individualisation of society it is increasingly important for people to participate in the labour process. The key message of the WRR report Work in perspective. Labour participation in the Netherlands (Report no. 38, 1990) is that a coherent policy aimed at removing barriers to labour participation is essential.

Negative spiral must be broken

Less paid work is performed in the Netherlands than in other OECD countries. Unemployment, incapacity for work and early retirement have become part of a negative spiral, which is imposing a great strain on public spending. To reverse this negative spiral, the labour participation rate has to rise. Furthermore, the scarcity on the labour market is increasing and a growing number of women are looking for paid employment.

A coherent policy

In the report, the WRR makes a great many recommendations for a coherent policy aimed at increasing labour participation. For example, it proposes creating a system of professional recurrent education, increasing the capacity for child care, individualisation of the minimum wage, making pension schemes more flexible and reducing the large number of people who are unfit for work.

The WRR published the report at the request of the government.