Two new Flash Reports prepared by the European Social Policy Network (ESPN) are now available and provide information on recent social policy developments in the Netherlands and Serbia.
- The self-employed in the Netherlands are not covered by traditional social security schemes, and the majority of them are not insured for the risk of illness. Recently, a relatively new initiative named “bread fund” has been on the rise, i.e. a voluntary collective of 20 to 50 self-employed that provide each other with financial support in case of illness for up to two years. It functions like an insurance fund, but is owned by its participants rather than an insurance company. In December 2017, there were 304 bread funds covering more than 13,266 participants in the Netherlands.
- On 14 December 2017, the Serbian Parliament adopted amendments to the Law on Financial Support for Families with Children. The purpose of the amendments is to address the shortcomings in the implementation of the 2009 law regarding maternity leave pay and leave of absence payments to provide special care to a child. The potential impact of the new provisions could harm the well-being of children and mothers, especially mothers with less than six months of employment history.