2001cm175






    |

    Ministers’ Deputies
    CM Documents

    CM(2001)175 7 November 2001

    ——————————————

    776 Meeting, 6 December 2001
    6 Social Cohesion


    6.1 Committee of experts on standard-setting instruments in the field of social security (CS-CO)


    a. Abridged report of the 3rd meeting (Strasbourg, 18-20 September 2001)

    b. Draft Resolutions CSS(2001)… on the application of the European Code of Social Security


    ——————————————

    1. The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting Instruments in the field of Social Security (CS-CO) held its 3rd meeting from 18 to 20 September 2001 with Mr A. Otting (Germany) in the Chair.

    2. The agenda appears in Appendix 1 1 .

    3. At the meeting, the CS-CO:

    a. in accordance with Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security, adopted the conclusions on the application of the European Code of Social Security and its additional Protocol for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 2000 (Appendix 2).

    These conclusions concern Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom;

    b. transmitted its conclusions, for information, to the European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS) which will take note of it at its next meeting (14 – 16 November 2001);

    c. in accordance with its terms of reference, transmitted its conclusions to the Committee of Ministers and invited it to adopt the Resolutions of the Committee of Ministers on the application of the European Code of Social Security and its Protocol by the Contracting Parties, on the basis of the conclusions of the Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting Instruments in the Field of Social Security (CS-CO);

    d. in accordance with its terms of reference, the CS-CO investigated the possibility for synchronising the reporting periods of the European Code of Social Security, the European Social Charter and other relevant international legal instruments. Because of the close links between the social security standard-setting instruments of the International Labour Organisation and the European Code of Social Security, the CS-CO was in favour of keeping the present reporting periods, which are synchronised with those of the ILO instruments;

    e. Furthermore, the CS-CO examined the draft revised terms of reference and submitted it to the CDCS who adopted it during their meeting in November.

    4. The Committee agreed to hold its 4th meeting from 17 to 19 September 2002.

    Appendix 1

    Agenda

    I. Opening of the meeting

    II. Election of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson

    III. Adoption of the agenda

    IV. Information from the Secretariat

    V. Supervision of the application of the European code of social security (art. 74)

    a. Examination of reports and additional information submitted by contracting parties

    b. Examination of the conclusions of the committee of experts on the application of ILO Conventions and Recommendations, and adoption by the CS-CO of these conclusions for submission to the Committee of Ministers

    i. general observations
    ii. conclusions concerning individual contracting parties

    VI. Activities for the promotion of the standard-setting instruments of the Council of Europe in the social security field

    VII. The role of social security instruments of the Council of Europe in the implementation of article 12 of the European social Charter and the Revised Charter

    VIII. Debate on trends and developments in the financing of social security

    IX. Council of Europe publications in the social security field

    X. Possibilities for synchronising the control mechanisms of the European code of social security, the European social Charter and other relevant international instruments

    XI. Draft revised terms of reference of the CS-CO for 2002-2004

    XII. Co-operation with other international bodies in the field of social security

    XIII. Any other business

    XIV. Date and place of the next meeting

    Appendix 2

    Conclusions of the Committee of Experts
    on Standard-Setting instruments
    in the social security field
    concerning the application of the European Code
    of social security and its Protocol
    by Belgium

    The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field,

    In exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), as modified by the provisions of its Protocol (hereinafter referred to as the « Protocol »), and with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties;

    Whereas the Code and the Protocol, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since 14 August 1970 have been binding on Belgium, which ratified them on 13 August 1969;

    Whereas, when ratifying the Code and the Protocol, the Government of Belgium stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts of the Code, as modified by the Protocol:

    - Part II on « medical care »,
    - Part III on « sickness benefit »,
    - Part IV on « unemployment benefit »,
    - Part V on « old-age benefit »,
    - Part VI on « employment injury benefit »,
    - Part VII on « family benefit »,
    - Part VIII on « maternity benefit »,
    - Part IX on « invalidity benefit »,
    - Part X on « survivors’ benefit ”;

    Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, the Government of Belgium submitted, on 27 July 2000, its 30th annual report and the additional information on the application of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, for the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000;

    Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts for the Applications of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 71st session in November-December 2000;

    Recalling the Resolution CSS (2000) 20 on the 29th report submitted by the Government of Belgium in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol,

    Points out, concerning Part II (Medical care), Article 10, paragraph 2. a. i., of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, that, in its previous conclusions, the Committee noted under the terms of the Royal Order of 21 September 1993 to modify the individual share in the cost of certain health care services, the level of individual cost-sharing by beneficiaries (other than those belonging to the category of the most economically vulnerable beneficiaries — VIPO) for consultations, visits and opinions by general practitioners and specialists was set at between 30 and 40% according to the type of care, which exceeds the maximum limit of 25% authorized by this provision of the Protocol for care provided by general practitioners and specialists outside hospital wards. The government was therefore asked to indicate the measures taken or envisaged to reduce the level of individual cost sharing by beneficiaries in the cases concerned to the level prescribed in Article 10, paragraph 2. a.i., of the Code, as amended by the Protocol.

    While recognizing that the individual share paid by beneficiaries in the cost of the medical care mentioned above exceeds the percentage prescribed by the Protocol, the government draws attention in its report to the need to adopt a global appreciation of the situation by taking into account a certain number of advantages which reduce cost-sharing per beneficiary in medical expenses. These comprise, in particular, the supplementary assistance in the health care insurance reducing individual cost-sharing for categories of insured persons having VIPO status (widows and widowers, invalids, pensioners, orphans, and other categories of economically disadvantaged beneficiaries) to 10% in the case of consultations with general practitioners and to 15% in the case of specialists; social and fiscal advantages ensuring 100% of the reimbursement basis from the time when, in the course of the year, all the individual cost-share effectively paid for by the beneficiary or beneficiaries of a single household and their dependants reaches a ceiling; an annual lump sum allowance for the chronically sick covering about 50 000 persons in 1998; and, more recently, the global medical record. Since 1 May 1999, this latter measure has provided for persons over 60 years old a reduction in their own contributions of 30% per consultation and examination by the general practitioner who holds their record, and currently applies to 709 395 medical records held by Belgian general practitioners. The government concludes that the establishment of all these measures, combined with pre-existing measures, results in a reduction of cost-sharing by beneficiaries, which is thus lower overall than the 30 and 40% cited.

    The Committee notes this information with interest, and particularly the measures in favour of the chronically sick and elderly persons having a global medical record, which affects a substantial number of insured persons and is mentioned by the government for the first time in this context. It believes that, with these new measures, the government will be able to demonstrate in its next report, supported by statistical information, that the average cost-sharing rate by beneficiaries taking all categories together, in the cost of consultations, examinations and opinions by general practitioners and specialists, no longer exceeds the 25%

    prescribed by the Protocol. It recalls that, according to the tables attached to the twenty-eighth annual report showing the amounts provided by the insurance and the cost-sharing paid by the patient expressed in absolute figures and as a percentage of fees for the major categories of consultations and examinations by general practitioners and specialists, in 1997 the average rate of cost-sharing per beneficiary amounted to 27.27%, while for the categories TIP and VIPO 75 not benefiting from supplementary assistance, the rate was 32.28 and 33.10% respectively;

    Finds that the law and practice in Belgium continue to give full effect to Parts III to X of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, and that they also give effect to Part II, subject to the point raised below;

    Requests the Government of Belgium to include in its next report statistical information on the number of persons in the categories that do not benefit from any reduction in their individual cost-sharing as compared with the total number of insured persons.

    Conclusions of the Committee of Experts
    on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field
    concerning the application of the European Code of social security
    by Cyprus

    The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field,

    In exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), and with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties;

    Whereas the Code, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since 16 April 1993 have been binding on Cyprus, which ratified it on 15 April 1992;

    Whereas, when ratifying the Code, the Government of Cyprus stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts of the Code:

    - Part III on « sickness benefit »,
    - Part IV on « unemployment benefit »,
    - Part V on « old-age benefit »,
    - Part VI on « employment injury benefit »,
    - Part IX on « invalidity benefit »,
    - Part X on « survivors’ benefit ”;

    Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, the Government of Cyprus submitted, on 15 December 1999, its 6th annual report on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999 and on 4 September 2000, its 7th annual report on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000;

    Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts for the Applications of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 71st session in November-December 2000;

    Recalling the Resolution CSS (2000) 4 on the 5th report submitted by the Government of Cyprus in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code,

    Finds, on the basis of the information and of the texts of legislation and instructions mentioned below and supplied by the government in reply to the Committee’s previous conclusions, that the law and practice in Cyprus continue to give full effect to all the accepted parts of the Code.

    Points out, with respect of its previous conclusions concerning Part III (Sickness benefit) and Part XII (Common provisions) in relation to Part IV (Unemployment benefit) of the Code, the Committee notes with satisfaction that section 32 of the Social Insurance Law has been amended by section 2 of the Social Insurance (Amendment) Law No. 80(I)/98 to extend the entitlement to sickness benefit to 26 weeks for each period of interruption of employment, thus giving full effect to Article 18 of the Code, and that section 35.2.a. of the Social Insurance Law has been given a restricted interpretation in the instructions issued to the Unemployment Benefit Section of the Department of Social Insurance and supplied by the government with its sixth report, so as to permit the disqualification of an insured person from unemployment benefit solely in cases of wilful misconduct, in accordance with Article 68.f. of the Code.

    Conclusions of the Committee of Experts
    on Standard-Setting instruments
    in the social security field
    concerning the application of the European Code
    of social security
    by Denmark

    The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field,

    In exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), and with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties;

    Whereas the Code, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since
    17 February 1974 have been binding on Denmark, which ratified it on16 February 1973;

    Whereas, when ratifying the Code, the Government of Denmark stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts of the Code:

    - Part II on « medical care »,
    - Part III on « sickness benefit »,
    - Part IV on « unemployment benefit »,
    - Part V on « old-age benefit »,
    - Part VI on « employment injury benefit »,
    - Part VII on « family benefit »,
    - Part VIII on « maternity benefit »,
    - Part IX on « invalidity benefit »,

    Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, the Government of Denmark submitted, on 7 September 2000, its 27th annual report on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000;

    Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts for the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 71st session in November-December 2000;

    Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 21 on the 26th report submitted by the Government of Denmark in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code,

    Finds that the law and practice in Denmark continue to give full effect to the parts of the Code, which have been accepted.

    Conclusions of the Committee of Experts
    on Standard-Setting instruments
    in the social security field
    concerning the application of the European Code of social security
    by France

    The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field,

    In exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), and with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties;

    Whereas the Code, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since
    18 February 1987 have been binding on France, which ratified it on 17 February 1986;

    Whereas, when ratifying the Code, the Government of France stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts of the Code:

    - Part II on « medical care »,
    - Part IV on « unemployment benefit »,
    - Part V on « old-age benefit »,
    - Part VI on « employment injury benefit »,
    - Part VII on “family benefit”,
    - Part VIII on « maternity benefit »,
    - Part IX on « invalidity benefit »;

    Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, the Government of France submitted, on 7 August 2000, its 13th annual report and the additional information on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000;

    Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts for the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 71st session in November-December 2000;

    Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 22 on the 12th report submitted by the Government of France in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code,

    Finds that the law and practice in France continue to give full effect to the parts of the Code, which have been accepted, subject to receiving the information requested in its previous conclusions concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit).

    Conclusions of the Committee of Experts
    on Standard-Setting instruments
    in the social security field
    concerning the application of the European Code
    of social security and its Protocol
    by Germany

    The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field,

    In exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), as modified by the provisions of its Protocol (hereinafter referred to as the « Protocol »), and with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties ;

    Whereas the Code and the Protocol, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since 28 January 1972 have been binding on the Federal Republic of Germany, which ratified them on 27 January 1971 ;

    Whereas, when ratifying the Code and the Protocol, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts of the Code, as modified by the Protocol :

    - Part II on « medical care »,
    - Part III on « sickness benefit »,
    - Part IV on « unemployment benefit »,
    - Part V on « old-age benefit »,
    - Part VI on « employment injury benefit »,
    - Part VII on « family benefit »,
    - Part VIII on « maternity benefit »,
    - Part IX on « invalidity benefit »,
    - Part X on « survivors’ benefit » ;

    Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany submitted, on 31 August 2000, its 29th annual report on the application of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, for the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000;

    Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts for the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 71st session in November-December 2000;

    Recalling the Resolution CSS (2000) 23 on the 28th report submitted by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol,

    Points out:

    1. concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit), Article 20 (in conjunction with Article 68), with reference to its previous conclusions concerning the implementation in practice of sections 119 and 121 of Book III of the Social Code (SGB III) in the light of the new Employment Promotion Act of 24 March 1997 with respect to the concept of suitable employment contained in Article 20 of the Code, that, in giving its explanations, the government refers to the information and documents supplied in the annexes to its report, namely: Annex 1, containing the legal amendment defining acceptable commuting time for a reasonable job; Annex 2, containing the internal administrative rules of the Federal Employment Service on the implementation of sections 119 and 121 of Book III of the Social Code; Annex 3, containing the statistical data on the number of cases of suspension of unemployment benefit because the unemployed person had declined a job deemed acceptable; and enclosure 4, containing a circular order of the Federal Employment Service of 29 November 1999, defining the concept of work offers used by the placement and employment counselling service. Regretfully, the Committee did not receive these annexes, which apparently contain all the information requested in its previous conclusions. In this situation, the Committee proposes to return to this question at its next session, when it will be in possession of all the elements of the government’s reply.

    2. concerning Part IX (Invalidity benefit) of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, Articles 54, 56 and 57, and Part X (Survivors’ benefit), Articles 60, 62 and 63, that, in reply to the Committee’s previous conclusions raising a number of question on the application of these provisions of the Code and the Protocol in practice, the government refers to current structural pension reform which concerns old-age, occupational disability and general invalidity pensions, and survivors’ pensions. As part of the reform, new provisions are being prepared at the moment for the receipt of pensions on account of reduced earning capacity, which are expected to take effect as of 1 January 2001. These provisions introduce two forms of pension on account of reduced earning capacity: full pension for persons with a remaining ability to work on the general labour market below three hours and half pension for persons with a remaining ability to work on the general labour market between three and six hours; persons with a remaining ability to work six hours and more will get no pension. In the meantime, the rules introduced by the Pension Reform Act of 1999 (RRG) have been suspended till the end of the year 2000. The abrupt abolishment of total invalidity pensions by the RRG in 1999 is to be replaced by measures which permit to take into account the labour market situation for the purpose of granting pensions, so that persons who are only partly unable to work will receive a full pension instead of half a pension, provided they cannot obtain an income from gainful employment with the remaining earning capacity. In this situation, the government requests to postpone the answer to the questions raised by the Committee, to which a comprehensive reply will be given in its next report on the basis of the then applicable legislation on pensions payable on account of reduced earning capacity.

    The Committee takes due note of this information and of the general remarks made by the government in relation to questions about additional periods to be credited for the pension calculation, which it fully shares.

    3. Concerning Part V (Old-age benefit), that, with regard to the question which it has repeatedly raised in its previous conclusions of increasing the level of the old-age pension in the new Länder with a view to progressively attaining the percentage prescribed by the Protocol, in difference with the previous years when adjustment of pensions in new Länder was systematically superior to that of the old Länder, under the pension adjustment ordinance of 2000, the pensions paid by the statutory pension insurance were increased by 0.6% throughout the entire federal territory. The Committee further notes from the report that, according to the study “Provision for old-age in Germany, 1996 (AVID 1996)” published in November 1999, old-age pensions paid by the statutory pension insurance for the age cohorts 1936 to 1955, when they reach age 65, will hardly change for men in West Germany, while for men in East Germany a slight decrease is to be expected; for women in East and West Germany alike a marked increase in their insurance-based pensions is to be expected. Furthermore, the study concludes that private provision for old age does not lead to any sustainable improvement of the income situation in old age, particularly in the new Länder;

    4. concerning Part VI (Employment injury benefit), the information provided by the government in reply to its previous conclusions, in particular that relating to the alignment of the duration of daily benefits in respect of accidents to the duration of daily sickness benefits. As regards the new possibilities of conversion of a pension into a lump sum, which were opened by the modifications of 1 January 1997 in the legislation respecting statutory accident insurance, the Committee notes that, upon application and subject to the discretionary decision of the statutory accident insurance fund, insured persons may receive an indemnification payment, whose amount reflects the capital value of the pensions, if their earning capacity is reduced by less than 40%.

    The Committee further notes that, if the reduction of the earning capacity is 40% or more and it cannot be expected that it will decrease markedly, insured persons over 18 years of age can be granted an indemnification payment reflecting the capital value of as much as half of their pension for a maximum period of ten years, the other half of the pension remaining a periodical payment. The payment of a full pension will be resumed starting the 11th year. According to the brochure of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs “Social security at a glance” reflecting the law as of 1 January 1999, the beneficiary does not have to provide proof of how he will spend the lump-sum settlement in order to exercise this option. The report states however that, in the case the person concerned becomes severely disabled, with the earning capacity reduced by 50% or more, the entitlement to a periodical pension is fully reinstated. The indemnification payment is then deducted from the pension in so far as it

    exceeds the total amount of pension contributions which would have been due to the insured person during the period on which the indemnification was based. The Committee observes that these arrangements run counter to the criteria of commuting pension into a lump sum established by Article 36, paragraph 3, of the Code: they concern degree of incapacity exceeding 40%, which is not slight, and they do not require the competent authority to satisfy itself that the lump sum will be properly utilized. These arrangements therefore do not exclude the risk of the lump sum not being properly utilized which may result in situations condemning the beneficiary to live on half pension or a substantially reduced full pension for many years;

    Finds that the law and practice in Germany continue to give full effect to Parts II to VIII of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, subject to receiving certain information concerning Part IV, and that they also ensure the application of Parts IX and X, subject to the receipt of additional information on the points referred to below. As regards Part VII (Family benefit), the Committee notes the information provided by the government concerning the applicable provisions for the retroactive payment of family benefit;

    Requests the Government of Germany:

    1. concerning Part IX (Invalidity benefit) of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, Articles 54, 56 and 57, and Part X (Survivors’ benefit), Articles 60, 62 and 63, to provide a comprehensive reply from the government to all the questions raised in its previous conclusions, to which it would like the government to refer and more specific indications from the government in its detailed report next year on the manner in which these credited periods, in the reformed pension insurance, will permit to improve protection in the event of intermittent professional careers by reducing gaps in insurance coverage and their negative impact on the level of invalidity and survivors’ benefits. The Committee would also like the government to include in its next report the statistical information, in the manner requested in the report form, on the level of invalidity benefit for a standard beneficiary whose incapacity to exercise an occupational activity does not exceed two-thirds, irrespective of any residual earnings capacity, as well as on the number of the beneficiaries of an invalidity and survivor’s pension for whom the level of the benefit is lower than the level prescribed by the Protocol, even though they have completed a minimum period of 15 years of contributions and to indicate the impact of the new measures on the application of each of the Articles of the relative Parts of the Code;

    2. concerning Part V (Old-age benefit) to provide in its next report detailed information and statistics enabling it to assess the progress achieved in increasing the level of the old-age pension in the new Länder to the level prescribed by the Code, as amended by the Protocol;

    3. concerning Part VI (Employment injury benefit):

    a. to indicate in its next report whether, in making such decisions, the fund would normally take into account the criteria for the commutability of a pension into a lump sum contained in Article 36, paragraph 3, of the Code, namely that the degree of incapacity shall be slight or that the fund shall be satisfied that the lump sum will be properly utilized;

    b. to indicate in its next report how and by virtue of which provisions the necessary minimum income of the beneficiary would be ensured when they have used up the lump-sum benefit;

    c. to include in its next detailed report the statistical information on the number of employees protected, the level of family benefit and the participation of insured persons in the total cost of the insurance in the manner requested by the report form, not only for the old Länder but for the new Länder as well.

    Conclusions of the Committee of Experts
    on Standard-Setting instruments
    in social security field
    concerning the application of the European Code of social security
    by Greece

    The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field,

    In exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), and with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties;

    Whereas the Code, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since
    10 June 1982 have been binding on Greece, which ratified it on 9 June 1981;

    Whereas, when ratifying the Code, the Government of Greece stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts of the Code:

    - Part II on « medical care »,
    - Part III on “sickness benefit”,
    - Part V on « old-age benefit »,
    - Part VI on « employment injury benefit »,
    - Part VIII on « maternity benefit »,
    - Part IX on « invalidity benefit »
    - Part X on “survivors’ benefit”;

    Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, the Government of Greece submitted, on 14 July 2000, its 18th annual report on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000;

    Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts for the Applications of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 71st session in November-December 2000;

    Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 24 on the 17th report submitted by the Government of Greece in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code,

    Points out, concerning Part VI (Employment injury benefit):

    1. Article 34, paragraph 2 c. of the Code, that, in reply to the Committee’s previous conclusions, the government indicates that the Social Security Institute (IKA) has begun to offer medical care at home to all insured persons suffering from an incurable or chronic

    disease, including victims of employment injury who, for various reasons, are unable to go to IKA medical centres. The government ads that in the Athens and Pireus areas and a number of prefectures, a home medical care pilot programme for all IKA insured persons is in operation. Doctors regularly visit patients confined to bed who are registered on the IKA health unit lists as being entitled to medical and pharmaceutical care. IKA physiotherapists and nurses also dispense home medical care. It notes this information with interest;

    2. Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Code, that, in its reply, the government states that the introduction of a reduced benefit for victims of employment injury with less than 50% incapacity has very serious financial implications for the IKA. According to an actuarial study carried out by the IKA, to grant a reduced benefit would cost 2.6 billion drachmas a year and would concern some 3,700 people. The government adds that the adoption of the necessary legislative measures would mean that a financial solution would have to be found, since not only the IKA but also the other funds are facing serious economic difficulties. The matter will also have to be examined by the competent services of the responsible ministry.

    The Committee notes this information. While fully aware of the financial problems facing the IKA and the other funds, the Committee recalls that it has addressed this issue in its conclusions for many years. It further recalls that while such a reduced benefit was provided for in the previous legislation, at present victims of employment injury whose incapacity is less than 50 % are entitled to sickness benefit only for 720 days;

    Finds that the law and practice in Greece continue to give full effect to the parts of the Code, which have been accepted, subject to the following points concerning Part VI (Employment injury benefit), which it raised in its previous conclusions;

    Requests the Government of Greece:

    1. concerning Article 34, paragraph 2 c. of the Code, to provide information on the extension to the whole country of medical care at home in particular for victims of employment injury, in accordance with this provision of the Code and to provide the text of the provisions of laws or regulations and of administrative arrangements setting up the framework for medical care at home, particularly as regards nursing care;

    2. concerning Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Code, to adopt the necessary measures to re-establish entitlement to long-term benefits at a reduced rate for the victims of employment injury, in accordance with this provision of the Code.

    Conclusions of the Committee of Experts
    on Standard-Setting instruments
    in the social security field
    concerning the application of the European Code of social security
    by Ireland

    The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field

    In exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), and with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties;

    Whereas the Code, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since
    17 February 1972 have been binding on Ireland, which ratified it on 16 February 1971;

    Whereas, when ratifying the Code, the Government of Ireland stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts of the Code:

    - Part III on “sickness benefit”,
    - Part IV on “unemployment benefit”,
    - Part V on « old-age benefit »,
    - Part VII on “family benefit”
    - Part X on “survivors’ benefit”;

    Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, the Government of Ireland submitted, on 6 October 2000, its 27th annual report on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000;

    Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts for the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 71st session in November-December 2000;

    Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 25 on the 26th report submitted by the Government of Ireland in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code,

    Notes the detailed statistical information on the total value of family benefits and on the determination of the reference wage of a standard beneficiary, requested in its previous conclusions and supplied by the government. In particular, the Committee notes with interest the government’s intention to seek to establish the average male labourers’ wage in the meat processing industry and to use it as a reference wage in its future reports on the Code;

    Finds that the law and practice in Ireland continue to give full effect to the provisions of the parts of the Code, which have been accepted.

    Conclusions of the Committee of Experts
    on Standard-Setting instruments
    in the social security field
    concerning the application of the European Code
    of social security and its Protocol
    by Luxembourg

    The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field,

    In exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), as modified by the provisions of its Protocol (hereinafter referred to as the « Protocol »), and with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties;

    Whereas the Code and the Protocol, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since 4 April 1969 have been binding on Luxembourg, which ratified them on 3 April 1968;

    Whereas, when ratifying the Code and the Protocol, the Government of Luxembourg stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts of the Code, as modified by the Protocol:

    - Part II on « medical care »,
    - Part III on « sickness benefit »,
    - Part IV on « unemployment benefit »,
    - Part V on « old-age benefit »,
    - Part VI on « employment injury benefit »,
    - Part VII on « family benefit »,
    - Part VIII on « maternity benefit »,
    - Part IX on « invalidity benefit »,
    - Part X on « survivors’ benefit ”;

    Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, the Government of Luxembourg submitted, on 17 July 2000, its 32nd annual report on the application of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, for the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000;

    Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts for the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 71st session in November-December 2000;

    Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 27 on the 31st report submitted by the Government of Luxembourg in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol,

    Finds that the law and practice in Luxembourg continue to give full effect to the provisions of the Code and the Protocol.Revised Conclusions of the Committee of Experts
    on Standard-Setting instruments
    concerning the application of the European Code
    of social security and its Protocol
    by the Netherlands

    The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field,

    In exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), as modified by the provisions of its Protocol (hereinafter referred to as the « Protocol »), and with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties;

    Whereas the Code and the Protocol, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on
    17 March 1968 and since that date have been binding on the Netherlands, which ratified them on 16 March 1967;

    Whereas, when ratifying the Code and the Protocol, the Government of the Netherlands stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts, which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts of the Code, as modified by the Protocol:

    - Part II on « medical care »,
    - Part III on « sickness benefit »,
    - Part IV on « unemployment benefit »,
    - Part V on « old-age benefit »,
    - Part VI on « employment injury benefit »,
    - Part VII on « family benefit »,
    - Part VIII on « maternity benefit »,
    - Part IX on « invalidity benefit »,
    - Part X on « survivors’ benefit ”;

    Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, the Government of the Netherlands submitted, on 15 October 1999, its 32nd annual report, and on 28 August 2000, its 33rd annual report, and the additional information on the application of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, for the period respectively from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999 and from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000;

    Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts for the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 71st session in November-December 2000;

    Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 12 on the 31st report submitted by the Government of the Netherlands in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol,

    Points out:

    1. concerning Part VI (Employment injury benefit) of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, Article 32.d. and Article 36 (in relation to Article 38), that the legislation in the Netherlands is still not in full conformity with the above provisions of the Protocol with regard to: i. the conditions imposed by the national legislation for entitlement to a widow’s pension; and (ii) the definition of the contingency. The Committee therefore once again expresses the hope that the Netherlands will be able to ratify the revised Code, which contains solutions allowing States whose insurance systems have abandoned the concept of employment injury to meet the standards of these instruments through compensatory benefits provided under other branches of social security. The Committee also refers to its comments under Part III (Sickness benefit), Part IX (Invalidity benefit), point (b), and Part X (Survivors’ benefit);

    2. concerning Part III (Sickness benefit) (in relation to Part XII (Common provisions), Articles 70 and 71), that in its previous conclusions, the Committee noted that the 1996 reform, under which in the great majority of cases responsibility for the payment of sickness benefit was transferred from the social security scheme to enterprises, questioned the general principles prescribed by the Code in Articles 70 and 71 concerning the organization (and particularly the collective nature of financing through contributions and/or taxation prescribed by Article 70, paragraph 1, of the Code) and management of social security schemes. In its thirty-second report, the government emphasizes in the first place that all employees remain covered by health insurance under the terms of the Sickness Benefits Act (ZW) and that the 1996 reform has not changed anything in this respect. For all employees, the conditions establishing entitlement to payment in the event of sickness are still anchored in the law; no change was made to the level of protection or the duration of the benefit. In the opinion of the government, the principle of solidarity therefore remains unaffected. Where there is no right to a wage, sickness benefit is paid, which continues to be financed collectively through contributions, thereby constituting a balanced collective insurance system.

    With reference to Article 14 of the Code, which provides that the contingency covered shall include incapacity for work resulting from a morbid condition and involving suspension of earnings, as defined by national laws or regulations, the government also points out that the Act respecting the extension of the requirement to maintain the payment of wages in the event of sickness (WULBZ) amends the Sickness Benefits Act, to the effect that entitlement to wages in the event of sickness prevails over sickness benefit. Where there is no right to a wage, or where this right no longer exists, there is then a situation of “suspension of earnings” within the meaning of Article 14 of the Code. In such cases, the worker is in principle entitled to sickness benefit, the obligation under Article 14 of the Code is therefore automatically fulfilled. With regard to the application of Article 70 of the Code, which envisages the collective financing of the cost of benefits by way of insurance contributions or taxation, the

    government considers that the issue at stake is not the cost of paying wages in the event of sickness (Article 14 of the Code does not address this issue), but the financing of the cost of the sickness benefit paid in accordance with the Act (ZW), which serves as a safety net. The cost of these benefits is collectively funded from the unemployment contributions for the Unemployment Insurance Act (WW). In the view of the government, the provisions of Article  70 of the Code are therefore applied.

    With regard to Article 71 of the Code, which provides for the participation of the representatives of the persons protected or their association in a consultative capacity with the management of the social security system, the government refers to the participation of workers’ organizations in the National Institute for Social Insurance (LISV) and in sectoral councils. It adds that the law entrusts the LISV with the responsibility of implementing the Sickness Insurance Act (ZW). Furthermore, the LISV plays a role in relation to the existence of the right to a wage in the event of sickness in two important areas. In the first place, with a view to strengthening the legal situation of the worker, in the event of a dispute concerning the maintenance of the right to a wage in the case of sickness, a second opinion by an expert designated by the LISV (or any other body envisaged by collective agreement) is required before the case can be brought to the courts. In this respect, the government provides certain statistical data, which, in its opinion, prove the utility of the new procedure. Furthermore, after 13 weeks of sickness, the employer must submit a reintegration plan to the LISV. The government also provides, by way of illustration, an extract of a collective agreement in the metallic industry. Finally, the government provides statistics for several industrial sectors on the percentage of the wage paid in the event of sickness, which, in the very great majority of cases, is equivalent to 100%.

    With regard to the definition of the contingency envisaged in Article 14 of the Code, the Committee recalls that by envisaging that incapacity for work resulting from a morbid condition must involve suspension of earnings, this Article of the Code intended to prevent a worker from benefiting from a level of benefit which exceeded her or his previous earnings, in view of the existence of certain legislation, as was the case at the time that the Code was adopted, providing that in the event of sickness the worker conserves her or his right to the payment of wages for a limited period. Article 14 cannot however be used in the manner suggested by the government without voiding Article 70 of the Code on the collective financing of benefit of its substance. The collective financing of benefit, as envisaged by this provision of the Code, is intended to distribute in an equitable and economically appropriate manner the burden of financing the risk of sickness between the various groups of the population, including between employers, thereby preventing the most vulnerable categories from suffering discrimination. In this context, the Committee notes the observations of the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation on the 12th report provided by the Netherlands on the application of the European Social Charter, according to which the measures taken to compensate for the negative effects of the 1996 reform are inadequate, particularly with regard to the issue of the selection for recruitment of workers with a history of medical problems. Indeed, since the 1996 reform, the system of sickness benefit established by the ZW Act only provides a residual safety net in very limited situations (such as employees who no longer have employers, that is in particular employees who have lost their job during the first year of sickness, and temporary workers whose contract has been legally terminated, or bankruptcy of the employer). Even though, as pointed out by the government, workers are still covered by the ZW Act, the scope of the protection which it provides is now considerably reduced, with

    the effect that in practice the employers in most cases bear the cost of compensating for the contingency of sickness throughout the period of 52 weeks set out in the ZW Act, irrespective of the size of their enterprise. Such a situation cannot be considered as being in conformity with the objectives of Article 70 of the Code. In these conditions, the Committee is bound to find that the government’s explanations do not affect the substance of its previous conclusions;

    3. concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit), that in reply to it’s previous conclusions, the government provides certain statistics in its thirty-second report concerning the level of the so-called short-term unemployment benefit paid at the rate of 70 % of the minimum wage. The Committee notes from these statistics that the level of this benefit should attain the level prescribed by the Code, as amended by the Protocol. However, the Committee recalls that, in accordance with Article 66, paragraph 2, of the Code, the wage of the ordinary adult male labourer, the benefit and any family allowances shall be calculated on the same time basis. In this respect, while the statistical information on the minimum wage and the level of the short-term benefit are provided on a monthly basis, it would however appear that the statistics on family allowances cover a three-monthly period, as indicated by the government in its report on Convention No. 121;

    4. concerning part IX (Invalidity benefit):

    a. Articles 54, 57 and 58 (in relation to Articles 65 and 66), that the Committee notes the information provided by the government on the level on invalidity benefit;

    b. the Committee notes the English translation of the “evaluation” Decree issued under section 18 of the Disablement Benefits Act (WAO), among other provisions, which determines the residual capacity and aptitude of the disabled person, as well as of the new provisions introduced in 1998 by the PEMBA Act. With regard to this latter Act, the Committee recalls that since 1 January 1998 the invalidity insurance scheme for employees has been financed entirely by employers. These pay a compulsory basic contribution and a “differentiated contribution”, the amount of which depends for each enterprise on the number of employees applying for invalidity benefit. The object of this system is to encourage employers to prevent and reduce the number of days of absence for sickness and incapacity in their enterprise. However, the differentiated contribution is not compulsory and employers may decide to assume the risk themselves for five years by having recourse to a private insurance scheme or by producing a guarantee certificate from a credit institution or an insurer. Employers have to join an approved occupational health and safety service responsible for advising them on improving the working conditions in the enterprise. They also have to establish a plan for the reintegration of employees who have been absent for longer than 13 weeks. Reductions of contribution levels are envisaged in the event of the recruitment of a disabled person.

    In its thirty-second report, the government states that on 1 January 1999 there were 1,612 employers with fewer than 15 employees and 536 employers with at least 15 employees who had decided to take out a private insurance to cover the risk of invalidity directly. The Committee notes this information and the risks arising out of the reform introduced by the PEMBA Act of making health a selection criteria in recruitment and the breach opened in the collective nature of the financing of the invalidity branch;

    5. concerning Part X (Survivors’ benefit):

    a. that the Committee notes the English translation of the General Surviving Relatives Act (ANW), which establishes survivors’ benefits for widows, widowers and children of deceased insured persons. It also notes the statistics provided by the government on the level of survivors’ benefit, which show that these benefits should attain the level prescribed by the Code, as amended by the Protocol;

    b. that Committee recalls that, in accordance with Article 60, paragraph 1, of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, the right of a widow to benefit may be conditional on her being presumed, in accordance with national laws or regulations, to be incapable of self-support. In this respect, the Committee notes that, by virtue of section 14 of the General Surviving Relatives Act, the surviving spouse of a deceased injured person who does not meet the conditions respecting invalidity or dependent children set out in the law may only claim a survivors’ pension where she or he was born before 1 January 1950, which implies after a certain period (as of 2015) the abolition of survivors’ pensions for this category of persons;

    c. that the Committee notes the information provided by the government to the effect that survivors’ benefit comes to an end when the beneficiary reaches the age of 65 years, when she or he is entitled to an old-age pension by virtue of the General Old-Age Pensions Act (AOW). It also notes that in cases where the pension contributions have not been paid continuously between the beneficiary’s 15th and 65th birthdays, the old-age pension may be lower than the minimum social income in force in the Netherlands. In view of the fact that in such cases, according to the information provided by the government, the beneficiary is entitled to a supplement so that the old-age pension is brought up to the level envisaged by the National Assistance Act (ABW);

    6. concerning Part XI (Standards to be complied with by periodical payments) of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, Article 65, paragraph 10, and Article 66, paragraph 8, that the Committee notes the information provided by the government in its report on changes in benefit levels, wages and the cost of living since 1996, which shows that the level of benefit has followed fluctuations in wages during the periods under consideration;

    Finds that the law and practice in the Netherlands continue to ensure the application of the Parts II, IV, V, VII, VIII, IX and X of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, and that they also ensure application of Parts III and VI, subject to the points raised below. With reference more particularly to Part II (Medical care), the Committee notes with interest the government’s statement to the effect that the participation of insured persons in paying 20 % of the cost of medical care under the terms of the Health Insurance Act was abolished as from 1 January 1999;

    Requests the Government of the Netherlands:

    1. concerning Part III (Sickness benefit) (in relation to Part XII (Common provisions), Articles 70 and 71), to provide information on any new measures which are taken or envisaged under the terms of Article 71, paragraph 1, of the Code and, in accordance with Article 70 of the Code, to further consider the matter in the light of the above comments and to provide information on any measures which are taken or envisaged in this respect;

    2. concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit), to explain how the level of the short-term benefit which, according to the legislation, is equivalent to 70 % of the minimum wage, can amount to 1 963.32 guilders, when according to the information provided by the government the minimum wage on 1 December 1999 amounted to 2 243.80 guilders;

    3. concerning part IX (Invalidity benefit):

    a. Articles 54, 57 and 58 (in relation to Articles 65 and 66), to provide, in order to be in a better position to assess the manner in which effect if given to these provisions of the Code, the statistical information required under Articles 65 and/or 66 by the report form, firstly for the benefit for permanent incapacity (WAO) paid during the first phase and, secondly, for the benefit paid during the second phase, taking into account the fact that, in accordance with Article 54 of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, the statistics requested in the report form must concern a beneficiary whose incapacity to engage in a gainful activity does not exceed two-thirds and to specify whether a holiday allowance is also paid during employment and, if so, if it would indicate its amount;

    b. to continue to provide statistics in future reports indicating the number of enterprises which have decided to assume the risk of invalidity themselves for a period of five years, the total number of workers employed in such enterprises and their percentage of the total number of employees and to report any information available to it on the implementation in practice of the PEMBA Act, and particularly on the achievement of the objectives of the Act, as well as on any difficulties which may have risen in the application of the new legislation;

    4. concerning Part X (Survivors’ benefit):

    a. to continue to provide in its next report, which is a detailed report, the statistical information requested in the report form with regard to the level of survivors’ benefit, and if on that occasion it would indicate the manner in which the survivors’ benefit for a widow with two dependent children and the level of family allowances paid during employment and during the contingency are calculated;

    b. to indicate whether widows who do not have dependent children and are not disabled are considered as being capable of self-support irrespective of their age at the time of the contingency and to indicate whether measures are taken, where appropriate, to facilitate the vocational reintegration of this category of survivors, with an indication of the amount of any social benefit which may be paid to them, and finally, to provide detailed information on the manner in which widows who benefited from a survivors’ pension under the terms of the former General Act on Widows and Orphans are affected by the transitional provisions of the ANW Act (section 67, in particular);

    c. to indicate the conditions for the provision of this supplementary assistance to pensioners, with an indication of whether the supplement is subject to a means test and to provide the updated texts of the National Assistance Act (ABW), with an indication of the relevant provisions.

    Conclusions of the Committee of Experts
    on Standard-Setting instruments
    in the social security field
    concerning the application of the European Code
    of social security and its Protocol
    by Norway

    The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field,

    In exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), as modified by the provisions of its Protocol (hereinafter referred to as the « Protocol »), and with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties;

    Whereas the Code and the Protocol, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since 17 March 1968 have been binding on Norway, which ratified them on 26 March 1966;

    Whereas, when ratifying the Code and the Protocol, the Government of Norway stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts:

    - Part II of the Code on « medical care »,
    - Part III of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on « sickness benefit »,
    - Part IV of the Code on « unemployment benefit »,
    - Part V of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on « old-age benefit »,
    - Part VI of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on « employment injury benefit »,
    - Part VII of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on « family benefit »,
    - Part IX of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on « invalidity benefit »,
    - Part X of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on « survivors’ benefit ”;

    Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, the Government of Norway submitted, on 20 July 2000, its 33rd annual report on the application of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, for the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000;

    Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts for the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 71st session in November-December 2000;

    Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 28 on the 32nd report submitted by the Government of Norway in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol;

    Points out, concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit), Article 20 of the Code (in conjunction with Part XII (Common provisions), Article 68. h, that, in its previous conclusions, the Committee noted that the new National Insurance Act of 28 February 1997 obliged a “genuine jobseeker” to take up any employment offered to him by the employment market service, irrespective in particular of its level of remuneration, location in Norway and of whether it was a full-time or part-time job (section 4-5), and provided for the withdrawal of unemployment benefit from eight weeks to six months in cases where the insured person refused, “without reasonable grounds”, to accept an offer of such employment (section 4-20), as well as for the withdrawal of the entitlement to the benefit for as long as the insured person did not fulfil the conditions of being a genuine jobseeker (section 4-21). The Committee observed that, by virtue of these changes in the National Insurance Act, the previously applicable rule by which a person could be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefit for having refused “suitable employment” (a concept to which Article 20 of the Code refers) was replaced by the apparently more restrictive concept of withdrawing the benefit for refusing employment offered “without reasonable grounds”. In assessing the practical effect of the new legislation, the Committee has noted that, apart from the few exceptions provided, the new provisions of the National Insurance Act referred to above and the guidelines of the Directorate of Labour implementing them might have the effect of compelling unemployed persons, under the threat of the withdrawal of entitlement to the benefit, to take up any ordinary job for which they are physically and mentally fit, notwithstanding their professional skills, qualifications, acquired experience and length of service in former occupation. The Committee, with reference to the arguments developed in its previous conclusions, would like to recall to the government that, according to the definition of the contingency contained in Article 20, the aim of the Code consists precisely in offering unemployed persons protection during the initial period of unemployment from the obligation to take up any job which is not suitable, so as to ensure for the benefit of the workers and society that the most effective utilization is made of human resources potential.

    Finds that the law and practice in Norway continue to give full effect to the parts of the Code and the Protocol that have been accepted, subject to receiving additional information on the following point, which was raised in its previous conclusions,

    Requests the Government of Norway to reconsider the question with a view to ensuring that, in all cases covered by Article 20 of the Code (in relation to Article 68.h.), unemployment benefit is paid at least during the minimum period of 13 weeks within a period of 12 months, or in each case of the suspension of earnings, in accordance with Article 24 of the Code and to continue to supply in its future reports the statistical information on the number of cases in which unemployment benefit was suspended due to refusal to accept the job offered by the employment market service.

    Conclusions of the Committee of Experts
    on Standard-Setting instruments
    concerning the application of the European Code
    of social security and its Protocol
    by Portugal

    The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field,

    In exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), as modified by the provisions of its Protocol (hereinafter referred to as the « Protocol »), and with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties;

    Whereas the Code and the Protocol, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since 16 May 1985 have been binding on Portugal, which ratified them on 15 May 1984;

    Whereas, when ratifying the Code and the Protocol, the Government of Portugal stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts, which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts:

    - Part II of the Code, on « medical care »,
    - Part III of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on « sickness benefit »,
    - Part IV of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on « unemployment benefit »,
    - Part V of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on « old-age benefit »,
    - Part VII of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on « family benefit »,
    - Part VIII of the Code, on « maternity benefit »,
    - Part IX of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on « invalidity benefit »,
    - Part X of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on « survivors’ benefit ”;

    Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, the Government of Portugal submitted, on 12 July 2000, its 15th annual report on the application of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, for the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000;

    Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts for the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 71st session in November-December 2000;

    Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 29 on the 14th report submitted by the Government of Portugal in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol;

    Points out concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit), Article 23 of the Code, that in reply it’s previous conclusions concerning measures to reduce the excessive qualifying period for entitlement to unemployment benefit maintained in section 16(1) of Legislative Decree No. 119/99 establishing the new legal framework for compensation in the event of unemployment (540 days of salaried employment over the last 24 months preceding the date of unemployment), the government states that during the period covered by the report exceptional measures were taken to reduce the qualifying period for workers in the textile sector in the Serra da Estrela and Castanheira de Pêra regions. While noting this information, the Committee is bound to note, as it has done previously, that the need to have systematic recourse to the selective reduction of the qualifying period to make the protection of workers more effective in the economic sectors most affected by unemployment demonstrates the excessive duration of the qualifying period. The Committee trusts that the government will be able to reconsider its policy in this respect with a view to facilitating the access to unemployment benefit of all the workers in the country and return to the qualifying period its original function in the strict framework of the social security legislation, which is to prevent abuse in the provision of unemployment benefit, in accordance with Article 23 of the Code;

    Notes, with reference to its previous conclusions, that Legislative Decree No. 341/99 of 25 August 1999, revising the legal framework for family benefit established by Legislative Decree No. 133-B/97, has abolished the qualifying period for entitlement to family benefit, thereby bringing the national legislation into full conformity with Article 43 of the Code. Under the terms of section 15(1)(a) of Legislative Decree No. 133-B/97, as amended by Legislative Decree No. 341/99, the provision of family benefit depends solely on the existence of remuneration registered in the name of the beneficiary in the 12 months preceding the second month prior to the date of the application;

    Finds that the law and practice in Portugal give full effect to all the Parts of the Code and the Protocol, which have been accepted, subject to the issue of the qualifying period for unemployment benefit.

    Conclusions of the Committee of Experts
    on Standard-Setting instruments
    in the social security field
    concerning the application of the European Code of social security
    by Spain

    The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field,

    In exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), and with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties;

    Whereas the Code, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since
    9 March 1995 have been binding on Spain, which ratified it on 8 March 1994;

    Whereas, when ratifying the Code, the Government of Spain stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts of the Code:

    - Part II on « medical care »,
    - Part III on « sickness benefit »,
    - Part IV on « unemployment benefit »,
    - Part V on « old-age benefit »,
    - Part VI on « employment injury benefit »,
    - Part VIII on « maternity benefit »,
    - Part IX on « invalidity benefit »;

    Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, the Government of Spain submitted, on 7 August 2000, its 5th annual report on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1999 to
    30 June 2000;

    Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts for the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 71st session in November-December 2000;

    Recalling Resolution (2000) 30 on the 4th report submitted by the Government of Spain in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code,

    Points out:

    1. concerning Part VI (Employment injury benefit)

    a. Article 34, paragraph 2. c. and e. of the Code, that, with reference to its conclusions concerning the government’s third annual report on the Code, there was also taken into account the explanations provided by the government to the International Labour Office in its latest report on the application of Convention No. 102 for the period 1996-98;

    b. Article 36 : i. that, under section 139(1) of the General Social Security Act (LGSS) and according to the information provided previously by the government, workers whose degree of incapacity for their usual occupation, as established by incapacity evaluations teams (EVI) of the National Social Security Institute, exceeds 33%, but does not make it impossible to perform the basic tasks inherent in such an occupation, are entitled to a lump-sum benefit. With regard to the evaluation criteria employed by these teams, the government has stated in its third annual report that case-law has established a series of criteria to assess the impact of the injury on the capacity for work of the person concerned, on the basis of which it may be considered that the degree of permanent partial incapacity has been attained;

    ii. that, in its conclusions of 1998, the Committee noted that section 8 of Act No. 24/1997 of 15 July replaced the definitions of the various categories of invalidity by specifying that qualification for the various degrees of permanent incapacity shall be determined on the basis of the percentage of the reduction in capacity for work. On this subject, the government states in its third annual report that the regulations in question have not yet been adopted and that the previous provisions therefore remain applicable;

    2. concerning Part XI (Standards to be complied with by periodical payments) in relation to the following Parts of the Code: Part III (Sickness benefit), Article 16; Part V (Old-age benefit), Articles 28 and 29; Part VI (Employment injury benefit), Article 36; Part VIII (Maternity benefit), Article 50; and Part IX (Invalidity benefit), Articles 56 and 57, that the government’s report does not contain the information and statistics that it has been requesting in its previous conclusions on the calculation of the above benefits;

    Finds that the law and practice in Spain continue to give full effect to the parts of the Code which have been accepted, subject to the receipt of additional information on the points which it has already raised in its previous conclusions and to which no reply has been given in the government’s fourth and fifth annual reports;

    Requests the Government of Spain:

    1. concerning Part VI (Employment injury benefit):

    a. Article 34, paragraph 2 c. and e.: to confirm, in its next report on the Code, that, by virtue of Royal Decree No. 63 of 1995, Annex I, point 2.4, the victims of employment injury are entitled free of charge to the nursing care at home, which is necessary during the entire period that they are immobilized, as provided for in Article 34, paragraph 2.c, of the Code and to indicate measures taken or contemplated to give full effect to Article 34, paragraph 2.e, of the Code in national law and practice with regard to the provision free of charge to the victims of employment injury of eyeglasses and dental supplies, except prostheses of the palate already covered by Annex V of the Ministerial Order of 18 January 1996;

    b. Article 36: i. to provide the text of the relevant judicial decisions concerning both cases of partial incapacity and cases of total incapacity covered by sections 139(1) and (2) of the General Social Security Act, taking into account that, in accordance with Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Code, in case of permanent partial loss of earning capacity or corresponding loss of faculty, the benefit shall be a periodical payment set at a suitable proportion and to indicate the benefits to which a worker would be entitled who, as a result of an employment injury, could only perform the tasks inherent to the job for half of the normal hours of work, particularly in the event that the worker could not be transferred to another job or the employment contract comes to an end; ii. to provide the text of the new regulations when they are adopted;

    2. concerning Part XI (Standards to be complied with by periodical payments) in relation to the following Parts of the Code: Part III (Sickness benefit), Article 16; Part V (Old-age benefit), Articles 28 and 29; Part VI (Employment injury benefit), Article 36; Part VIII (Maternity benefit), Article 50; and Part IX (Invalidity benefit), Articles 56 and 57, to provide in its next annual report on the Code, which is to be a detailed report, all the statistics requested in the report form under Article 65 or 66, depending on which of these two provisions is selected.

    Conclusions of the Committee of Experts
    on Standard-Setting instruments
    concerning the application of the European Code
    of social security and its Protocol
    by Sweden

    The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field,

    In exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), as modified by the provisions of its Protocol (hereinafter referred to as the « Protocol »), and with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties;

    Whereas the Code and the Protocol, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since that date have been binding on Sweden, which ratified them on 25 September 1965;

    Whereas, when ratifying the Code and the Protocol, the Government of Sweden stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts, which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts:

    - Part II of the Code, on « medical care »,
    - Part III of the Code as modified by the Protocol, on « sickness benefit »,
    - Part IV of the Code as modified by the Protocol, on « unemployment benefit »,
    - Part V of the Code as modified by the Protocol, on « old-age benefit »,
    - Part VII of the Code as modified by the Protocol, on « family benefit »,
    - Part VIII of the Code, on « maternity benefit »,
    - Part IX of the Code as modified by the Protocol, on « invalidity benefit »,
    - Part X of the Code as modified by the Protocol, on « survivors’ benefit ”;

    Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, the Government of Sweden submitted, on 1 November 2000, its 33rd annual report and additional information on the application of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, for the period from 1 July 1999 to
    30 June 2000;

    Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts for the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 71st session in November-December 2000;

    Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 31 on the 32nd report submitted by the Government of Sweden in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol,

    Points out:

    1. concerning Part IX (Invalidity benefit), Article 54 of the Code, as amended by the Protocol (in conjunction with Articles 56 and 57), that in its previous conclusions, the Committee has asked the government to supply statistical information on the level of the disability pension for a standard beneficiary whose inability does not exceed two-thirds, as provided for by Article 54 of the Code, as amended by the Protocol. In reply, the government indicates that the Swedish legislation provides for the disability pension to be payable in the form of one-quarter, one-half, three-quarters, or full pension. The government supplied detailed statistics with respect to a standard beneficiary whose inability to pursue gainful activity is reduced by three-quarters and whose invalidity benefit will amount to three-quarters of a full disability pension, which shows that in such case, the benefit, together with the basic child allowance and an income-tested housing allowance paid to a beneficiary whose wage was equal to that of a skilled manual male employee referred to in Article 65, paragraph 6. a., of the Code, represents 60.2% of such wage including the basic child allowance and housing allowance.

    The Committee notes this information and, in particular, the fact that, unlike in previous reports, the government has included the housing allowance in addition to the basic child allowance in the calculation of the replacement level of the disability pension for a standard beneficiary. It wishes to point out in this respect that the housing allowance is income-tested and therefore could not be taken into account for the purpose of assessing the level of the invalidity benefit under the Code. It further observes that, according to the statistics supplied by the government, the disability pension in case of inability of three-quarters, recalculated without the housing allowance, in 1998 would have nearly reached the 50% level prescribed by the Protocol for an invalid with a two-thirds inability;

    2. that, with reference to its previous conclusions, the Committee notes profound reforms which have taken place recently or are still under way in different social insurance branches, i.e. the introduction of the new integrated unemployment insurance scheme as from 1 January 1998; the new unified old-age pension scheme as from 1 January 1999; the new rules concerning the permanent and temporary disability pension which will come into force on 1 January 2001; and changes in the survivors’ pension which are yet to be finalized. In this respect, the Committee notes that the booklet containing detailed information on the new pension system in Sweden mentioned as attached to the government’s report has not been received;

    Finds that the law and practice in Sweden continue to give full effect to the Parts of the Code and the Protocol which have been accepted, subject to receiving additional information on Part IX (Invalidity benefit) of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, which has been requested by the Committee in its previous conclusions and not supplied by the government;

    Requests the Government of Sweden:

    1. a. to include in its next report the updated statistical information necessary for the calculation of the level of invalidity benefit for a standard beneficiary whose inability does not exceed two-thirds and, taking into account that the government based its calculation on the disability benefit paid in case of inability of three-quarters, to specify, with reference to the corresponding legal provisions, whether an insured person with a two-thirds inability would in fact be entitled to receive the disability pension in the form of three-quarters of a full pension, or, if the level of his inability falls short of the three-quarters, whether he would be entitled to a disability pension in the form of one-half of a full pension;

    b. to base its calculations in the next report on the level of the disability pension to which an insured person with two-thirds inability would actually be entitled under the legislation;

    c. to specify, if possible in its next report, to what extent the method of calculation of the replacement level of the disability benefit under the current legislation would be affected by the application of the new rules, which will enter into force in 2001.

    2. to provide in its next annual report, which is to be a detailed report, full information and statistics on the incidence of the new measures on the application of each Article of Parts IV (Unemployment benefit), V (Old-age benefit), IX (Invalidity benefit) and X (Survivors’ benefit) of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, in the manner requested by the report form, together with the text of the new legislation and, if possible, its translation into English.

    Conclusions of the Committee of Experts
    on Standard-Setting instruments
    concerning the application of the European Code of social security
    by Switzerland

    The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field,

    In exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), and with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties;

    Whereas the Code, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since
    17 September 1978 have been binding on Switzerland, which ratified it on 16 September 1977;

    Whereas, when ratifying the Code, the Government of Switzerland stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts of the Code:

    - Part V on « old-age benefit »,
    - Part VI on “employment injury benefit”,
    - Part VII on “family benefit”,
    - Part IX on “invalidity benefit”,
    - Part X on “survivors’ benefit”;

    Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, the Government of Switzerland submitted, on 9 August 2000, its 22nd annual report on the application of the Code, for the period from
    1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000;

    Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts for the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 71st session in November-December 2000;

    Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 32 on the 21st report submitted by the Government of Switzerland in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code;

    Finds that the law and practice in Switzerland continue to give full effect to the Parts of the Code, which have been accepted.

    Conclusions of the Committee of Experts
    on Standard-Setting instruments
    concerning the application of the European Code of social security
    by Turkey

    The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field,

    In exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), and with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties;

    Whereas the Code, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since
    8 March 1981 has been binding on Turkey, which ratified it on 7 March 1980;

    Whereas, when ratifying the Code, the Government of Turkey stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts of the Code:

    - Part II on “medical care”,
    - Part III on “sickness benefit”,
    - Part V on “old-age benefit”,
    - Part VI on “employment injury benefit”,
    - Part VIII on “maternity benefit”,
    - Part IX on “invalidity benefit”,
    - Part X on “survivor’s benefit”;

    Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, the Government of Turkey submitted, on
    28 September 2000, it’s 19th annual report and the additional information on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000;

    Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts for the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 71st session in November-December 2000;

    Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 33 on the 18th report submitted by the Government of Turkey in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code;

    Points out:

    1. Replying to the Committee’s request concerning the regular adjustment of long-term benefits, that the government has supplied data on the monthly changes in the minimum and maximum pensions and in the urban areas consumer price index in the reporting period, indicating that pensions are increased every month by the ratio of change in the urban areas consumer price index established for the previous month. The Committee notes with interest

    that, according to this data, long-term pensions are sufficiently adjusted to the high rate of inflation in Turkey, as measured by the urban areas consumer price index. The Committee would like to recall however that, according to Article 65, paragraph 10, of the Code, the rates of current periodical payments in respect of long-term benefits should be adjusted to changes in the general level of earnings and in the cost of living, and not only to changes in the consumer price index, as this later index may increase much slower than the cost-of-living index and the index of earnings;

    2. As regards the question of the calculation of benefits which has been repeatedly raised by the Committee in its previous conclusions, that the report contains the statistical information requested by the Committee in its previous conclusions on the wage of the skilled manual male employee, who is defined as a turner in the manufacture of machinery other than electrical machinery, provided by the Turkish Employer Union in Metal Industry (MESS) and gives calculations of the rate of benefits which such an employee or his dependants may claim for each of the contingencies arising from the Parts of the Code accepted by Turkey. With respect to short-term benefits (sickness benefit, employment injury benefit in the case of temporary incapacity for work, and maternity benefit), these calculations, which are established separately for the periods before and after 1 January 2000, as well as for the first and second quarters of the year 2000 following increases in the minimum and maximum limits of the benefits, show that on average during the reporting period the level of protection prescribed by the Code appears to be attained.

    With respect to the calculation of long-term benefits (old-age, invalidity and survivors’ benefits), the report indicates that the pension of insured persons who become entitled to it after 1 January 2000 shall be a sum of the amount calculated under the provisions of the previous legislation for the preceding periods of insurance and the amount calculated under the current legislation for the periods of insurance after 1 January 2000. It is therefore important that the government continues to supply all the statistical data necessary to assess the level of the benefits calculated under the old as well as under the new legislation. With regard to the sample calculations given in the present report, the Committee wishes to point out that they are not based on the qualifying periods established by the Code in respect of the benefits in question (30 years of contribution or employment for old age and 15 years for invalidity and the death of the breadwinner). The Committee was therefore not able to assess whether their level continues to correspond to the replacement rates established by the Code. The Committee notes that the calculations given in the report of the rate of the employment injury benefit for permanent incapacity, which shall be provided without any qualifying period, show that it attains the replacement rate prescribed by the Code;

    Notes that the Government indicates that it has designed a two-stage reform strategy for the social security. In 1999, the reform was directed to undo some of the worst problems in the pension system and has four main components: retirement age and minimum contribution period, benefit rules, reference wage period and pension indexation. The Reform Act No. 4447 adopted in August 1999 changed most of these social insurance parameters.

    Since most of its provisions came into force on 1 January 2000, the statistics on the calculation of the level of the benefits in the reporting period are divided into two periods: before 1 January 2000, in which calculations were made according to the old rules based on the coefficient and the table of indices determined by the Council of Ministers, and after 1 January 2000, when the table of indices has been eliminated and discretionary pension indexation was replaced by a transparent and financially conservative rule of indexing pensions in accordance with urban areas consumer price index announced by the State Statistical Institute.

    Finds that law and practice in Turkey continue to give full effect to Parts II, III, VI and VIII of the Code, and that they also ensure the application of Parts V, IX and X of the Code, subject to receiving additional information and statistical data on the level and the adjustment of benefits requested below;

    Requests the Government of Turkey:

    1. to continue to supply statistics on the monthly changes in the minimum and maximum pensions and in the urban areas consumer price index and to provide in it’s next detailed report statistics on the changes in the cost-of-living index and the index of earnings for the same reporting period, as required by Title VI of the report form under this Article of the Code;

    2. a. to confirm the conclusion concerning the short term benefits by supplying corresponding statistical data and establishing calculations of the rate of these benefits for the next reporting period on the basis of the new rules in force after 1 January 2000, in the manner requested by the report form for a detailed report under Article 65 (Titles I to V);

    b. with respect to the calculation of long-term benefits (old-age, invalidity and survivors’ benefits), to continue to include in its future reports information used for the calculation of the part of the benefits under the old rules (coefficient, a table of indices, and the wage taken into account for the calculation of pensions and corresponding to the highest index) and to provide in its next report such calculations would be established for a standard beneficiary who has completed the respected qualifying periods;

    3. to indicate also in its next report, the number of employees covered by the general social security scheme in relation to the total number of employees in the country, in the manner required in Title I of the report form under Article 74 of the Code.

    Conclusions of the Committee of Experts
    on Standard-Setting instruments
    concerning the application of the European Code of social security
    by the United Kingdom

    The Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting instruments in the social security field,

    In exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), and with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties;

    Whereas the Code, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since 13 January 1969 has been binding on the United-Kingdom, which ratified it on 12 January 1968;

    Whereas, when ratifying the Code, the Government of the United Kingdom stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts of the Code:

    - Part II on “medical care”,
    - Part III on “sickness benefit”,
    - Part IV on “unemployment benefit”,
    - Part V on “old-age benefit”;

    Whereas the Government of the United Kingdom has subsequently, on 19 July 1982, accepted Part VII on “family benefit”;

    Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, the Government of the United Kingdom submitted, on 8 August 2000, its 32nd annual report on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000;

    Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts for the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 71st session in November-December 2000;

    Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 34 on the 31st report submitted by the Government of the United Kingdom in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code;

    Points out, concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit) of the Code, the improvements over the next two years which have been announced with respect to the New Deal for young people as well as the New Deal for long-term unemployed people aged 25 and over. It also notes the extensive research and evaluation studies carried out or commissioned by the government in connection with the jobseeker’s allowance and, in particular, DSS Research Report No. 116 – Evaluating Jobseeker’s Allowance: a summary of the research findings, by Rayner et al. According to the key findings of this report, as presented by the government, the introduction

    of the jobseeker’s allowance, while making the job search behaviour of the unemployed persons more active, has not resulted in the larger number of people moving into work from benefit. On the other hand, there was a large decrease in the number of beneficiaries in the first year of operation of the jobseeker’s allowance and smaller but significant decreases in the years thereafter. Former jobseekers were less likely to return to benefit after the introduction of the jobseeker’s allowance, and those who have left benefit for work were less likely to return to unemployment-related benefit when they lost their jobs. The Committee would also hope to receive in the government’s next report the information requested in its conclusions on the thirtieth annual report of the government, the main points of which are summarized below;

    1. Articles 20 and 24 of the Code (in relation to Article 68). The Committee recalls that the decisions on the duration of the permitted period of one to thirteen weeks under regulation 16 of the Jobseekers’ Allowance Regulations 1996, during which a jobseeker may restrict availability for employment to his or her “usual occupation”, as well as the decisions on the employability of a jobseeker in the light of the restrictions made under regulations 8, 9 and 10, are placed under the responsibility of adjudication officers, who thus have broad discretion. It would therefore like to be informed on whether new guidelines have been drawn up for the adjudication officers on these matters since the entry into force of the jobseekers’ legislation and, if so, to receive a copy;

    2. Article 22 (in relation to Article 67). The Committee notes the government’s intention to introduce a national minimum wage as soon as convenient and to make corresponding modifications in the jobseekers’ legislation;

    Notes that the report mentions a number of new social security measures, which have taken effect during the reporting period or are to enter into force at various dates in the future, in particular:

    a. profound reform of the medical care branch undertaken under the “NHS Plan: A Plan for Investment. A Plan for Reform” and concretised by the Health Act 1999 and the Care Standards Act 2000 and the regulations adopted under these instruments;

    b. takeholder pension schemes to be introduced in April 2001, established by the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999;

    c. State Second Pension to be introduced in April 2002, established by the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill, which received Royal Assent in summer 2000.

    Finds that the law and practice in the United Kingdom continue to give full effect to the provisions of the Parts of the Code, which have been accepted, subject to receiving certain information on the following points concerning Part IV;

    Requests the Government of the United Kingdom:

    Concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit), to indicate, with respect to these trends, whether the mentioned research reports have touched upon the question of the extent to which the decrease in the number of beneficiaries of the unemployment-related benefits may be attributed to the more strict conditions for the granting of the jobseeker’s allowance and, in particular, to its dependence on the decisions of adjudication officers concerning the employability of a jobseeker;

    1. concerning Articles 20 and 24 of the Code (in relation to Article 68), to provide statistics on the number of jobseekers to whom a permitted period was granted in relation to the total number of newly unemployed;

    2. concerning Article 22 (in relation to Article 67), to supply full information on the manner in which the rules for the calculation of the income-based jobseekers’ allowance take into account these provisions of the Code and, in particular, the requirement that the reduction of the benefit is only authorized when the means of the beneficiary and his family exceed the substantial amounts referred to in Article 67, to supply the information requested under Article 67, Titles I and II, and Article 74, Title IV, of the report form of the Code together with statistics on the number of persons receiving the income-based jobseekers’ allowance and statistics on the level of this allowance for claimants under 25 years of age, taking into account that the income-based jobseekers’ allowance varies depending on the age of the claimant, and to explain how the protection guaranteed by the Code is ensured with respect of a claimant whose partner, while working twenty-four hours a week or more, receives wages which are below the level of the substantial amounts and the benefit calculated under Article 67 of the Code. In addition, the Committee requests the government to provide any measure taken to increase the level of the contribution-based jobseekers’ allowance and provide information on any progress achieved in respect of the introduction of a national wage and corresponding modifications in the jobseekers’ legislation.

    3. The Committee requests also the government to provide a detailed report will contain full information on the incidence of the new social security measures on the application of the corresponding Articles of the Code and will include copies of the relevant legal texts.

Note 1 The list of participants appears in document CS-CO(2001)15 which can be obtained from DG III - Social cohesion – Social Policy Division.


 Top

 

  Related Documents
 
   Meetings
 
   Other documents