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The Employment Reform (2014)

With the Employment Reform, municipalities have been granted more freedom and flexibility in their work with the unemployed, personal responsibility to find work is stressed and the educational level is focused.

The purpose of the employment reform is to ensure that resources are utilised in a better and more effective way, such that more unemployed people gain long-term employment as soon as possible. The reform is aimed at ensuring that employment initiatives, to a greater extent than before, are based on individuals' needs and allow for the fact that all unemployed people are different, and therefore have different needs as regards support and guidance in obtaining employment. For this reason, municipalities and unemployment insurance funds have been granted more freedom in organising individually-tailored interventions for the unemployed. Moreover, the unemployed have been given responsibility for their own contribution towards gaining employment. This can contribute to increasing the sense of ownership of the process among the unemployed and thereby increase their opportunities to reenter the labour market.

Focus and guarantees of the reform

A main focus of the reform is to increase the level of education of those unemployed people with the smallest skill sets by means of a series of targeted initiatives. For example, the unskilled unemployed and unemployed persons with obsolete educations will be given better opportunities for gaining new skills. Those unemployed with the least education will be offered more opportunities to attend short courses that address specific labour market needs.

The reform also guarantees support for those unemployed persons with the highest risk of losing touch with the labour market. Another consequence of the reform is that the young and the elderly will receive a right-and-duty offer earlier than hitherto. Meanwhile, new graduates from higher education will have greater opportunities for gaining a foothold in the labour market, for example via vocational traineeships of a longer duration. At the same time, the long-term unemployed will receive a more intensive and individually-tailored effort. Development work will also be carried out aimed at strengthening the quality of initiatives for those unemployed persons who are at risk of long-term unemployment. The reform alters the employment initiatives offered to all unemployed persons, including those unemployed persons with disabilities or impairments.

The first phase of the employment reform came into force on 1 January 2015 and the second phase on 1 July 2015. A number of ICT tools were implemented from 2016 onwards.

Last updated: 12-12-2018