The social legislation of the Netherlands is one of the most extensive in the world. The main principle of the system is that all members of society must be able to play an equally active role in society.  

The social policy has a history of more than two centuries. The current system is aimed at activating bigger parts of the population than before.

Recent developments in the system include a new system for invalidity benefits, the phasing out of fiscal incentives for early retirement and a new, leaner Unemployment Insurance Act.