Policy Choices Relating to Unemployment Benefit Schemes

  • Danny PietersEmail author


In this chapter we present reflections concerning several issues related to the social protection of the unemployed. We start by asking what the risk of unemployment is and continue our journey by examining for whom social insurance or social assistance coverage of the risk should be organized. We look at how the involuntary character of unemployment should be established, as well as availability for the labor market and willingness to work. How the criteria for suitable work are defined is another relevant question. Can unemployment benefits go hand in hand with incapacity to work? How should a person’s previous work record be taken into account? Establishing the amount of unemployment and its duration are challenges to all unemployment schemes. We end the chapter by looking at the future of unemployment benefit schemes, paying special attention to the changing nature of work and its impact on unemployment schemes, as well as to plans to move towards a European unemployment insurance.


Unemployment benefits Willingness to work Suitable work Amount of the unemployment benefit Duration of the unemployment benefit European unemployment insurance 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Social LawKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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