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Companies in the Netherlands that employ more than 25 people, are obliged to hire a number of people with an illness or handicap (a percentage of their total number of employees). This is laid down in an agreement between the Dutch government, employers organisations and the unions. The Dutch Participation Act has been drawn up to guarantee everybody's right to access to work. This Act replaces several other Acts that aimed at improving participation on the Dutch labour market.
Support from regional work companies
If you are hiring people with an illness or handicap, you can get support in doing so from regional work companies and employers service units. In these organisations several instititions, such as the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), employers, unions and educational institutions, collaborate in order to improve the participation of this specific group of employees. Both UWV and the municipal authorities offer job coaches and mobility bonuses.
Work companies assist in placing employees with your company and offer work station supervision. They also help you with calculating your employee's wages. If you pay them more than the statutory minimum wage, the difference will be subsidised.
UWV can help you to find employees who fall under the Paticipation Act. They can also provide you with a potential candidate's details with regard to scholing, acceptable travel distance and the number of hours they are able and willing to work.
Moving from benefits to work
Unemployment Benefit is part of the Participation Act. If you are self-employed and you have become partly dependant on benefit, for a period of maximum 6 months part of your earnings will not be settled with your benefit. You may divide this 6 month period over a longer period.