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Too Sick to Work?: Social Security Reforms in Europe for Persons with Reduced Earnings Capacity

ISBN13: 9789041134264
Published: August 2011
Publisher: Kluwer Law International
Country of Publication: The Netherlands
Format: Hardback
Price: £128.00

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The idea that European welfare states are struggling to meet new social risks during a process of adaptation to a post-industrial setting has been an acknowledged theory in welfare state research for some time. The authors of this remarkable book have chosen to study a powerful indicator of how this trend might affect legal protection and access to justice for individuals: reforms in social security systems as they apply to cases of reduced earnings capacity. While previously the notion of social protection made welfare state inhabitants feel that the risk of loss of income due to physical or psychological hindrances was minimal, this sense of security can no longer be taken for granted. This book presents in-depth analyses, by nine leading scholars in social security law, of recent reforms in the field of incapacity benefits in four European countries: Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Sweden. The authors emphasize how recent reforms in the field of social security have been transformed into legal provisions, how the gate-keeping function is implemented in the legislation of the different countries, and to what extent the reforms have affected the legal position of the individuals concerned. They find that ever-tightening requirements designed to reduce benefit dependency, in combination with policies emphasizing individual responsibilities rather than individual rights, cause increased social risks for exposed groups. Among the specific aspects covered are the following: • Measuring the reduction of earnings capacity; • rights and obligations attached to reintegration into the labour market; • work capability assessment procedures; • ‘rehabilitation chains’ with fixed time limits; • the real and increased risk of poverty faced by long-term incapacitated persons; • constitutional concerns raised by increased dependency on means-tested benefits; • conditionality of benefits on work-related activities, participation in training programmes, or active job searching; and • sanctions that can be applied if the claimant fails to comply with activation measures. All the country chapters provide thorough surveys of recent reforms, as well as analyses of their different weaknesses and strengths. The European dimension is explored with particular reference to anti-discrimination legislation, health and safety law as well as the Open Method of Coordination. As a systematic analysis of the current reforms relating to reduced earnings capacity, this book will attract a wide readership among lawyers and policymakers for its thorough coverage of the current landscape and the far-reaching implications it suggests. The book’s systematic comparative method sheds a bright light on the challenges faced by post-industrial European welfare states, and its crystallization of the legal strategies behind the individual legal measures and reforms deepens our understanding of the institutions of social security and our awareness of the rights and obligations of exposed individuals.

Series: Studies in Employment and Social Policy Series

The Sources of Labour Law ISBN 9789403502847
Published December 2019
Kluwer Law International
Regulating Strikes in Essential Services: A Comparative 'Law in Action' Perspective ISBN 9789041189974
Published November 2018
Kluwer Law International
Sustainable Development, Global Trade and Social Rights ISBN 9789041192356
Published March 2018
Kluwer Law International
The Right to Strike: A Comparative View
Edited by: Bernt Waas
ISBN 9789041150073
Published September 2014
Kluwer Law International
Non-Public Actors in Social Security Administration: A Comparative Study ISBN 9789041149176
Published October 2013
Kluwer Law International
Health and Safety at Work: European and Comparative Perspective ISBN 9789041146618
Published June 2013
Kluwer Law International
The Protection of Working Relationships: A Comparative Study ISBN 9789041132895
Published March 2011
Kluwer Law International
The European Social Dialogue Under Articles 138 and 139 of the EC Treaty ISBN 9789041127440
Published June 2008
Kluwer Law International