Where Public and Private Meet: Income Security for Sick and Disabled Employees in Germany and the Netherlands
17 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2011 Last revised: 23 Jun 2013
Date Written: June 8, 2011
Social security is by definition a combination of public and private responsibilities. The result is a mixture of public and private legal systems and instruments, aiming to serve certain public interests. The mixture of both private instruments is expected to provide more efficient, tailor-made solutions that still meet the public interests of reliability, solidarity and equality. This article provides an exploration of the thin line between the public and private in Germany and the Netherlands for social security with regard to income protection for employees who fall ill or who become disabled. The comparison focuses on the distribution of responsibility between employee-employer (private) and employee-government (public), the criteria determining incapacity for work, the thresholds for public coverage and finally on institutions that decide on claims for social security.
The descriptions of the German and the Dutch systems illustrate the mixture of public and private instruments and the reasons behind opting for a more public or more private influence. Despite the differences between the two systems they are similar in the way in which they search for corrective measures to remedy the negative effects of both public and private regu-lation.
Keywords: income protection, sickness benefit, disability, privatisation, Germany, the Netherlands
JEL Classification: H50, H55, L33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation