The development of the social policy of the Netherlands
With a tradition of more than two centuries, the social policy of the Netherlands now concentrates on creating incentives, and involves municipalities in creating a successfully functioning system.
The Netherlands' first social legislation dates from the 19th century. The first social legislation of the Netherlands was a very minor law setting down rules for employing young people and women, but it was the first in what would become one of the most extensive bodies of social legislation in the world.
The current Work and Social Assistance Act, was implemented in 2004. The act was designed to serve as a system of incentives targeting municipal authorities to help people with benefits and in finding work.
Other recent developments in the social security system of the Netherlands include a new system for invalidity benefits, the phasing out of fiscal incentives for early retirement and a new, leaner Unemployment Insurance Act. New provisions to make it easier for people to balance work and care are the Childcare Act and the life-course savings scheme, in which people can save money for extended leave for care duties, study or training or other activities.