Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 01/08/2022

Recent social policy developments in Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Luxembourg

Six new Flash Reports prepared by the European Social Policy Network (ESPN) are now available and provide information on recent social policy developments in Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Luxembourg.

 Illustration evoking a modern multicultural society concept by showing a crowd of different people in community

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Finland reforms the income basis for calculating pension insurance contributions for the self-employed

The Finnish government will reform the income basis for calculating pension insurance contributions for the self-employed. Currently, the self-employed themselves can decide the income they will insure. Oftentimes, they choose the lowest contribution category, which leads to low earnings-related pensions. Furthermore, income chosen for pension contribution purposes has ramifications for other income transfers as well. For example, sickness and family leave benefits are calculated on the basis of pension-giving income. The reform will be effective from 1 January 2023.

Finland finalises its largest-ever social and healthcare reform

The Finnish government is finalising its largest-ever social and healthcare reform (Sote). The reform transfers responsibilities for health, social and rescue services from 309 municipalities to 22 larger organisers (21 welfare counties and the city of Helsinki). The overarching goals of this reform are to strengthen the financial basis of service delivery, to guarantee equal access to health and social services, and to reduce inequalities in health and well-being.

Greece reforms its public employment service and labour market policies

Α reform of the public employment service and of labour market policies in Greece was adopted in 2022 with a view to improving service quality as well as the overall capacity and effectiveness of the system. Although some of the provisions introduced are welcome, unemployment remains a persistent and critical issue that requires immediate action, while the benefits provided continue to be low and of limited duration and coverage.

Hungary: Cooperatives offer contribution-free and flexible employment for parents with small children

Hungary introduces a new atypical form of employment to support the labour market participation of parents with small children. Membership of the newly established cooperatives for parents staying at home with young children (colloquially, "young mums' cooperative" or kismama szövetkezet) offers flexible employment, preferential taxation and administrative assistance.

On the verge of a long-term care reform in Italy?

In April 2021, the Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan included a goal to invest in long-term care (LTC) provision and to reform the whole LTC system. Less than a year later, in January 2022, the Ministry of Labour Market and Social Affairs presented a Reform proposal which is currently under discussion.

Luxembourg: consultations with a view to developing a National Health Plan and strengthening the resilience of the healthcare system

With the aim of developing a National Health Plan, Luxembourg is currently undertaking collective consultations to define a vision of the healthcare system of tomorrow, taking into account existing challenges whilst remaining attractive to patients and service providers. The first results of these consultations are now being implemented, but some developments will need more time.

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