Working without Poverty

Increase the livelihood of workers, ensure sufficient income and make rules less complicated.

Work, and therefore salary, does not offer sufficient livelihood security for everyone. Some 220,000 workers are poor, despite their income from work. To get out of poverty, an approach is needed on several fronts: a sufficient and stable income, work that offers sufficient prospects and services that meet the needs of working minimums. Fortunately, the poverty for some of these people is temporary, but there is also a group that works in poverty for a long time or that keeps relapsing. Moreover, the consequences of poverty also affect the children in their families, who therefore get a bad start in their lives.

Diverse group

Working poor are a very diverse group. 220,000 people is approximately the population of a city like Tilburg. These people mainly work on an on-call basis or without fixed hours, with few hours or as freelancers. Many of them work part-time or irregularly, so not the same number of hours all year round. This was also discussed in the SER's recent medium-term advice. These people are often poorly educated. Some end up in poverty unexpectedly, for example due to personal setbacks. Such bad luck can happen to anyone.

Income, work and services 

The recommendations of the SER are aimed at the central government and municipalities as well as social partners and others. The most important recommendation for income is: ensure that people get sufficient income from their work and that that income is sufficiently stable. For example, instruments of premiums and taxes can be used for this. In the area of ​​work, action is needed to promote more working hours for workers who want and need it. This can be done by increasing existing part-time jobs or by providing more consecutive working hours. This requires a broad approach from employers, employees, self-employed persons and the government. In the area of ​​service provision, it is noted that existing schemes are not always used. Central government, municipalities, employees and employers must improve this together. In addition to digital services, reliable and personal advice, less complicated rules and possibilities for forcing breakthroughs are needed.

Source: SER - Werken zonder Armoede

Other appendices: Summary and fact sheet

Image credits

Icon image: Flickr - voedselbank