Virtually every Dutch government since the late 1980s has struggled with the task of finding the right balance in redundancy law. The current government (Rutte III) is the latest to set the target of updating the laws for worker redundancy, even though they were recently modernised. Researching the social and legal aspects of redundancy (and subsequent unemployment) has been a tradition at AIAS-HSI and its legal predecessors for decades. For example, they have studied how the courts have handled grounds for dismissal and, among other factors, how much severance pay is awarded. Four times a year AIAS-HSI brings together researchers and practical experts in the area of redundancy. Quantitative research into dismissal is also carried out by AIAS-HSI’s associate Arbeidsmarkt Research, which develops practical tools to help with redundancy.
AIAS-HSI pursues a variety of methods for contributing to the development and perception of redundancy law. The questions that it researches sometimes overlap with the other main topics: how much redundancy protection flexible workers have in their various forms, for example, and how to define the values to apply when considering how best to give shape to redundancies.
In many cases, a worker whose employment has ended will draw on social security or his or her pension. Recent decades have seen repeated sweeping changes in this area, often aimed at cutting back the costs and changing the system to encourage unemployed workers to be more ‘active’. Does the social security system still offer the protection for which it was originally intended? Other efforts have sought to update the system to reflect the evolving employment relationships, for example in terms of labour and care. Lastly, how should responsibility for the system be apportioned? Organisations of employers and workers have gradually become less important (except for the pension system), and more and more responsibilities have shifted to individual companies and municipal authorities. What impact have these changes had? This aspect of how labour and employment are shaped occupies a prominent position at AIAS-HSI. Although social security is of course addressed as part of the other main topics as well, it is integrally linked to redundancy.