Improvement of livelihood security
In 2019, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) initiated the structural reduction in employers' premiums for employee insurance. This allows employers to increase wages without increasing their wage costs. In 2019, the premiums fell from 18.3 to 13.4 percent. Depending on whether the employer paid pension contributions, this resulted in a wage increase of between 3.4 and 4.4 percent. Statutory minimum wages were raised by 5 percent and benefits such as the ‘Onderstand’ (income support), AOV (statutory pension) and AWW (widow, widower and orphan pension) were increased by an additional 5 percent on top of the annual indexation.