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


Ministers' Deputies
Notes on the Agenda

CM/Notes/733/6.1 (Restricted) 24 November 2000
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733 Meeting, 7 December 2000
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 2nd meeting (Strasbourg, 13-15 September 2000)

 

b. Draft Resolutions ResCSS (2000)… on the application of the European Code of Social Security



Reference documents
CM(2000)156

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Action
The Deputies are invited 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) as they appear in document CM(2000)156.

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In accordance with Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security, the Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting Instruments in the Field of Social Security (CS-CO) adopted, at its 2nd meeting, the conclusions on the application of the European Code of Social Security and, where applicable, its additional Protocol for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999 (see CM(2000)156).

 

These conclusions, in respect of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom, as they appear in Appendix 3 to document CM(2000)156, are now transmitted to the Committee of Ministers in accordance with Article 74 of the European Code of Social Security.

The Deputies are invited to take note of these conclusions and, in the light thereof, to adopt the Resolutions on the application of the European Code of Social Security and, where applicable, its additional Protocol, by Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999.

 


DRAFT DECISIONS

 

 

733rd meeting - 6 December 2000

 

 

Item 6.1

 

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

a. Abridged report of the 2nd meeting (Strasbourg, 13-15 September 2000)

 

b. Draft Resolutions ResCSS (2000)… on the application of the European Code of Social Security

(CM(2000)156)

 

Decisions

 

The Deputies

 

1.         took note of the conclusions of the Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting Instruments in the Field of Social Security (CS-CO) on the application of the European Code of Social Security and, where relevant, the Protocol thereto by Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom, in accordance with Article 75 of the European Code of Social Security, as presented in Appendix 3 to document CM(2000)156;

 

2.         adopted Resolutions ResCSS (2000) … to …, as they appear in Appendices … to … to the present volume of Decisions. [see Appendices 1-15 to the present Notes on the Agenda]

 


Appendix 1

 

 

Resolution ResCSS (2000) …

on the application of the European code of social security

and its protocol by Belgium

(Period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999)

 

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …

at the ….. meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

 

The Committee of Ministers,

 

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 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 6 September 1999, its 29th annual report and the additional information on the application of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 70th session in November-December 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 74, this report and the conclusions adopted thereon by the above-mentioned committee were examined by the Committee of Experts on Standard-setting Instruments in the Social Security Field at its 2nd meeting from 13 to 15 September 2000;

 

Having considered the conclusions reached by the above-mentioned committee after examination of the aforesaid documents;

 

Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 3 on the 28th report submitted by the Government of Belgium in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol,

 

Notes, 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 of Ministers 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% authorised by this provision of the Protocol for care provided by general practitioners and specialists outside hospital wards. The Committee of Ministers also noted that the average rate of cost-sharing per beneficiary for all categories was 27.27% in 1997, and that for the categories TIP (primary reimbursable beneficiaries) and VIPO 75 (widows and widowers, invalids and pensioners, who do not benefit from supplementary assistance) this rate was respectively 32.28 and 33.10%; in the case of the major categories of consultations with specialists in general and with interns, psychiatrists, paediatricians and cardiologists in particular, the average rate of cost-sharing per beneficiary for the categories TIP and VIPO 75 approached or even exceeded 37%. In these circumstances, the Committee of Ministers expressed the hope once again that the government would be able to take the necessary measures to reduce in all cases the level of participation of beneficiaries in the cost of care provided by general practitioners and specialists outside hospitals to the level prescribed in Article 10, paragraph . a. i. of the Code, as amended by the Protocol. The government's 29th report contains no information on this matter;

 

Finds that Belgium continues 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;

 

Decides to invite the Government of Belgium to indicate in its next report the measures taken or envisaged in this regard to reduce in all cases the level of participation of beneficiaries in the cost of care provided by general practitioners and specialists outside hospitals to the level prescribed in Article 10, paragraph 2. a. i. of the Code, as amended by the Protocol.


Appendix 2

 

Resolution ResCSS (2000) …

on the application of the European code of social security

by Denmark

(Period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999)

 

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …

at the ….. meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

 

The Committee of Ministers,

 

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the “Code”), and with a view to supervising the application of this instrument by the Contracting Parties;

 

Whereas the Code, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since 17 February 1974 has 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 6 August 1999, its 26th annual report on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 70th session in November-December 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 74, this report and the conclusions adopted thereon by the above-mentioned committee were examined by the Committee of Experts on Standard-setting Instruments in the Social Security Field at its 2nd meeting from 13 to 15 September 2000;


Having considered the conclusions reached by the above-mentioned committee after examination of the aforesaid documents;

 

Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 5 on the 25th report submitted by the Government of Denmark in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code,

 

Notes that Denmark continues to give full effect to the parts of the Code which have been accepted.


Appendix 3

 

 

Resolution ResCSS (2000) …

on the application of the European code of social security

by France

(Period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999)

 

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …

at the ….. meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

 

The Committee of Ministers,

 

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the “Code”), and with a view to supervising the application of this instrument by the Contracting Parties;

 

Whereas the Code, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since

18 February 1987 has 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 26 July 1999, its 12th annual report and additional information on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 70th session in November-December 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 74, this report and the conclusions adopted thereon by the above-mentioned committee were examined by the Committee of Experts on Standard-setting Instruments in the Social Security Field at its 2nd meeting from 13 to 15 September 2000;

 

Having considered the conclusions reached by the above-mentioned committee after examination of the aforesaid documents;

 

Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 6 on the 11th report submitted by the Government of France in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code,

 

Notes, concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit), Article 24, paragraph 3, of the Code, with reference to its previous conclusions,  that section 76 of the regulations attached to the agreement of 1 January 1997 concerning unemployment insurance concluded by the social partners for a period of three years and approved by Ministerial Decree of 18 February 1997, has retained the eight-day waiting period for unemployment benefit, instead of the seven days authorised by Article 24 paragraph 3 of the Code;

 

Notes the government's statement to the effect that the attention of the social partners should be drawn to this point on the occasion of the negotiation of the next agreement concerning unemployment insurance which will be applicable for the period 2000-2002;

 

Finds, on the basis of the information concerning Part VII (Family benefit) and Part XI (Standards to be complied with by periodical payments) requested in its previous conclusions and provided by the government, that France continues to give full effect to the Parts of the Code which have been accepted, subject to the point mentioned above concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit);

 

Decides to invite the Government of France to provide information on the outcome of the negotiation of the next agreement concerning unemployment insurance which will be applicable for the period 2000-2002.

 


Appendix 4

 

 

Resolution ResCSS (2000) …

on the application of the European code of social security

and its protocol by Germany

(Period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999)

 

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …

at the ….. meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

 

The Committee of Ministers,

 

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 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 30 July 1999, its 28th annual report on the application of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 70th session in November-December 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 74, this report and the conclusions adopted thereon by the above-mentioned committee were examined by the Committee of Experts on Standard-setting Instruments in the Social Security Field at its 2nd meeting from 13 to 15 September 2000;

 

Having considered the conclusions reached by the above-mentioned committee after examination of the aforesaid documents;

 

Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 7 on the 27th 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,

 

Notes:

 

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:

 

a. that in its conclusions in 1996, it noted that, according to the statistics provided by the government in its 25th report on the level of invalidity and survivors' benefit, account is taken for the determination of remuneration points (one of the four determining factors in the calculation of pension levels) not only of periods of contribution, but also of additional periods, that is the periods between the occurrence of the contingency and the corresponding date of the 60th birthday of the person insured (section 59 of Book VI of the Social Code). Consequently, the government based its calculations for the levels of invalidity and survivors' benefit on the hypothesis that a minimum of thirty-five years of periods which count for pensions will be credited, whereas in accordance with paragraph 1. a. of Articles 57 and 63 of the Code, the level prescribed by this instrument must be secured to a person protected who has completed (or whose breadwinner has completed) either fifteen years of contribution or employment, or ten years of residence.

 

The Committee of Ministers recalls in this respect that neither the Code nor the Protocol contains flexibility clauses similar to those appearing in the European Code of Social Security (Revised), which make it possible to increase the qualifying period taken into account for the calculation of benefits, in order to take into account a fictitious period between the occurrence of the contingency and a prescribed age. It did, however, previously consider, when examining the relevant provisions of the Social Insurance Code which were then in force, before the reform of the pensions in 1992, that the law and practice in Germany gave sufficient effect to the Code and Protocol in this respect insofar as “in practice the only persons who are not credited with such [incorporated] periods of insurance are voluntarily insured persons not belonging to the categories of protected employees (the self-employed or non-employed)” (see the conclusions for 1977). This situation changed in 1992 and non-contributory periods are no longer credited with the average value attributed to the contributions that are actually paid, since the so-called overall validation method based on contributions implies that periods of non-contribution are credited at a lower level when there are gaps in the periods of insurance coverage (see sections 71 and 75 of Book VI of the Social Code).

 

In this respect, the Committee of Ministers noted, according to the government's 26th report, that the Act respecting the implementation of the programme to promote growth and employment includes provisions respecting invalidity and old-age insurance, which also appear to be applicable to survivors' benefit, and which either place limitations on the manner in which certain assimilated periods of contribution are credited, or do not take them into account for the purposes of raising the level of the pension. According to the 26th report, assimilated periods of contribution for attendance at an educational or higher education training establishment will be taken into account in future up to a maximum of three years, instead of the seven years which were hitherto credited; periods of school attendance are henceforth taken into account from the age of 17 years, and not 16 years; the incorporation of periods of compulsory contribution on grounds of vocational training will cover only the first thirty-six months (formerly forty-eight months) for which compulsory contributions have been paid, and will only be at the level of 75% (hitherto 90%) of the global value of the contributions of the insured person concerned; periods of unemployment or sickness for which benefit is not paid are no longer taken into account for the purposes of increasing the level of the pension, but only for the maintenance of accruing rights. The Committee of Ministers noted that these measures are liable to reinforce the negative impact of missing periods of contribution on the level of invalidity and survivors' benefit.

 

On the other hand, the Committee of Ministers notes with interest certain measures indicated by the Government in its 28th report that are designed to fill gaps which may occur in professional careers in relation to invalidity and old-age insurance. The government refers in particular to the crediting of periods devoted to bringing up children for the purposes of invalidity and old-age insurance, under the terms of which the first twelve months (the first thirty-six months for births starting from 1992) following the birth of the child are incorporated as a period of compulsory contribution for the parent engaged in bringing up children. The Government also refers to the Act reforming the legislation respecting reduced working time, which came into force on 1 April 1999, which gives workers with reduced working hours, and particularly women, the right to opt to complete the flat-rate contribution paid by the employer in respect of invalidity and old-age insurance in order to fill gaps in their professional careers and acquire full entitlement to the benefit provided by this branch of insurance. Finally, the Government states that the modernisation of the invalidity and old-age insurance system, for which a new concept is to be developed by the end of 1999, will cover, among other areas, measures to improve independent provision by women for old age, the reform of the protection provided to survivors and the creation of a system of protection in the event of intermittent professional careers.

 

b. that the statistics on the level of invalidity benefit provided by the government in its 25th report concerned the general pension for incapacity. It recalls that, in accordance with section 44. 2 of Book VI of the Social Code, insured persons suffer from general incapacity in cases where, by reason of a disease or a disability, they will not be capable in the foreseeable future of exercising a gainful activity with any regularity or of receiving remuneration or income from work in excess of one-seventh of the monthly reference amount. Since general incapacity, as defined above, appears to apply in cases in which the degree of incapacity exceeds the level of the loss of faculty authorised by Article 54 of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, the government did not supply any information in this point;


2. concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit), Article 20 (in conjunction with Article 68), that, with reference to its previous conclusions, following the reform of the legislation respecting the promotion of employment, Book III of the Social Code (SGB III) was replaced by the Employment Promotion Act as of 1 January 1998. Under section 119 of Book III of the Social Code, an unemployed person is considered to be available for employment and capable of working when she or he is ready and able to take and assume a reasonable job (zumutbare Beschäftigung) under the normal labour market conditions applicable to that person. By virtue of section 121, any employment opportunity must be considered as reasonable, provided that reasons of a general or personal nature do not stand in the way of the job opportunity being of a reasonable nature. Such general reasons include the fact that the job opportunity is contrary to the law, a collective agreement or an enterprise agreement, or contravenes workers' protection provisions. Furthermore, a job opportunity is not considered to be reasonable for reasons of a personal nature, particularly where the remuneration is manifestly lower than the unemployed person's previous wage. For example, a job would not be considered reasonable if the unemployed person received remuneration lower than 80% of her or his previous earnings during the first three months of unemployment, with this percentage being reduced to 70% for the following three months. Account is also taken, when determining the reasonable nature of a job, of the travelling time involved in the new job. In this respect, travelling time of over three hours would not be considered acceptable. Finally, a job should not be considered unreasonable due solely to the fact that it is a fixed-term job, that it is necessary to live temporarily in a different place or that it is not in the category of jobs for which the worker has been trained or has been occupied up to the present.

 

While noting that certain guarantees are provided by section 121 of Book III of the Social Code with regard to the level of the unemployment benefit which, at least during a period of six months, cannot be lower than a certain percentage of the former earnings, the Committee of Ministers noted that, under the new provisions respecting unemployment insurance, beneficiaries may have their entitlement to unemployment benefit withdrawn under conditions which, a priori, appear to be more restrictive than those derived from the definition of the contingency contained in Article 20 of the Code, which refers to the inability to obtain suitable employment. The government's report does not respond to the questions raised by the Committee of Ministers in its previous conclusions.

 

3. concerning Part V (Old-age benefit) and Part IX (Invalidity benefit), with reference to its previous conclusions, the government's statement that it is planned to develop a concept for the modernisation of old-age insurance by the end of 1999. The objective of this reform is to ensure that the statutory invalidity and old-age insurance system continues to be the main pillar of provision in old age, without however overburdening the generation of active workers with contributions. It is envisaged that the system of pensions for occupational incapacity and for the loss of earnings capacity will be reformed by the year 2000. While awaiting the adoption of new regulations, the Act of 19 December 1998, amending the social security system and guaranteeing the rights of employees, has introduced emergency measures which suspend the application in 1999 and 2000 of certain provisions of the Act reforming the invalidity and old-age insurance system (Rentenreformgesetz 1999), with particular reference to those relating to the “demographic factor” which would have led to a reduction in the net level of pensions to 64% of the last remuneration received, as well as the provisions making unfavourable changes to the system of pensions for occupational incapacity and loss of earnings capacity.

 

The Committee of Ministers notes that, according to the government, the measures to modernise the invalidity and old-age insurance system will include, among others, the establishment of protection in the event of intermittent professional careers.

 

With regard to the question which it 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 Code, as amended by the Protocol, the Committee of Ministers notes from the report that, under the regulations to adjust periodical payments and pensions in 1999 (Rentenanpassungsverordnung 1999), the periodical payments and pensions provided under the invalidity and old-age insurance system in the old Länder have been increased, as of 1 July 1999, by 1.34%, while the increase in the new Länder was 2.79%. The government also refers to the study on old-age insurance in Germany in 1995, which was completed in 199, and includes detailed information for the old and new Länder on the average level of benefit and the distribution of old-age benefit received by beneficiaries from the age of 55 years under the various protection systems. With regard to the new Länder, the data were compiled from a representative survey carried out during the second half of 1995;

 

4. concerning Part VI (Employment injury benefit), that the Act to incorporate the legislation respecting the statutory accident insurance system into the Social Code, introduced on 1 January 1997, made certain modifications relating to benefit, including broadening of the possibilities for the payment of benefit in a lump sum rather than periodical payment, and the alignment of the duration of daily benefits in respect of accidents to the duration of daily sickness benefits (seventy-eight weeks). In its previous conclusions, the Committee of Ministers hoped to be provided with information on the impact of the modifications of 1 January 1997 in the legislation respecting statutory accident insurance on the application of Article 36, paragraph 3, of the Code (conversion of pensions into a lump sum) and Article 38 (payment of benefits throughout the contingency). However, no reply has been given by the government on this point.

 

The Committee of Ministers recalls that the statistics provided by the government in the addendum to its 25th report relate, in particular, to the number of employees protected, the level of family benefit and the participation of insured persons in the total cost of the insurance, pertained only to the old Länder. It trusts that the government's next report will not fail to include this statistical information, as requested by the report form, also for the new Länder;

 

5. concerning Part VII (Family benefit), the government's statement in its previous report to the effect that the six-month waiting period applicable to the retroactive provision of family benefit, counting from the date of the application for the benefit, has been abolished.

 

The Committee of Ministers notes that the government has agreed on a fundamental reform of the structures of the statutory sickness insurance system to take effect on 1 January 2000, which will ensure better quality, more effective financial management and more efficient structures for the provision of care;

 

Finds that Germany continues 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.

 

Notes, with regard to Parts IX and X, the information provided by the government concerning modifications which were made or envisaged during the period covered by the report, but has not found a reply to the specific questions that it raised in previous conclusions and which are necessary for it to assess the extent to which national law and practice continue to ensure the application of the above Parts of the Code;

 


Decides to invite 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:

 

a. to provide detailed information in its next report on the above measures to modernise the invalidity and old-age insurance system in the light of the comments made above (see also point 3 below). It remains fully aware of the advantages offered by the recognition of additional periods of contribution for insured persons and their families in cases where invalidity or death occur at a relatively young age. However, in order to be able to make a better assessment of the manner in which the above provisions of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, are applied in practice, the Committee of Ministers once again requests that the government indicate in its next report the number of beneficiaries of an invalidity or survivors' 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 fifteen years of contributions. In this context, the Committee of Ministers also noted, from the Government's statement in its 25th report that, with regard to pensions provided for the first time to male beneficiaries in respect of a reduction in their earnings capacity under the invalidity and old-age insurance scheme for wage-earners, the relevant periods which were taken into account for the purposes of pensions amounted on average in 1994 to 39.8 years in the old Länder and 40.4 years in the new Länder. It would like the government to be asked to provide more up-to-date data and to confirm that these statistics take into account any gaps occurring in the careers of insured persons. It also hopes that the government will provide similar information for the invalidity and old-age insurance scheme for employees, as well as for insured women;

 

b. to provide statistics, 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; 


2. concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit), Article 20 (in conjunction with Article 68), to provide detailed information in its next report on the implementation in practice of sections 119 and 121 of Book III of the Social Code so that it can make a better assessment of the manner in which the new legislation continues to ensure the application of Article 20 of the Code. In this respect, the Committee of Ministers would like the government to specify what other reasons of a personal nature can be taken into consideration in the assessment of the reasonable nature of the job under the terms of section 121 paragraphs 1 and 3. It also requests the government to indicate the extent to which the employment services, when proposing a job vacancy to an unemployed person, take account in practice, at least during the initial period of unemployment, of considerations such as skills, qualifications, acquired experience and length of service in the previous job, as well as the individual and family situation of the person concerned in cases in which the job offered involves a temporary change of residence. The Committee of Ministers also hopes that the government will provide a copy of any instruction or directive issued for this purpose by the employment service or any other competent authority. Finally, it would like to be provided with statistics on the number of cases in which the unemployment benefit has been suspended for the refusal of a job considered to be “reasonable” since the new legislation came into force;

 

3. concerning Part V (Old-age benefit) and Part IX (Invalidity benefit), to continue providing information on the process of the modernisation of the old-age insurance system and the entry into force of the new regulations respecting statutory invalidity and old-age insurance, in the light of the corresponding provisions of the Code and the Protocol. It hopes that in the implementation of this reform the government will not fail to take into account in particular the provisions of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, respecting the level of old-age and invalidity benefit (45% and 50% of the reference wage, respectively, after the completion of the periods of thirty and fifteen years of contributions or employment authorised by these instruments). The Committee of Ministers hopes that the government will indicate any modification that is made to the additional periods of insurance taken into account (credited periods).

 

The Committee of Ministers  would like the government to provide with a copy of the study on old-age insurance in Germany in 1995, which was completed in 1999 and includes detailed information for the old and new Länder on the average level of benefit and the distribution of old-age benefit received by beneficiaries from the age of 55 years under the various protection systems and any other information 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 modified by the Protocol;

 

4. concerning Part VI (Employment injury benefit), to communicate in its next report all the information requested;

 

5. concerning Part VII (Family benefit), to provide the text of the applicable provisions, with an indication of the manner in which the application for family allowances must be made.

 

The Committee of Ministers hopes that the next government report will contain all the necessary information on the impact of the reform on the application of Part II (Medical care) of the Code, as modified by the Protocol.

 


Appendix 5

 

 

Resolution ResCSS (2000) …

on the application of the European code of social security

by Greece

(Period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999)

 

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …

at the ….. meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

 

The Committee of Ministers,

 

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the “Code”), and with a view to supervising the application of this instrument by the Contracting Parties;

 

Whereas the Code, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since

10 June 1982 has 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 “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 7 September 1999, its 17th annual report on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 70th session in November-December 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 74, this report and the conclusions adopted thereon by the above-mentioned committee were examined by the Committee of Experts on Standard-setting Instruments in the Social Security Field at its 2nd meeting from 13 to 15 September 2000;

 


Having considered the conclusions reached by the above-mentioned committee after examination of the aforesaid documents;

 

Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 8 on the 16th report submitted by the Greek Government in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code,

 

Notes concerning Part VI (Employment injury benefit):

 

1. Article 34, paragraph 2. c. of the Code, that, in its previous report, the government states that the Social Security Institute (IKA) and the Ministry of Health and Welfare were planning to soon offer medical care at home to certain categories of persons;

 

2. Article 36, paragraph 2 of the Code, that, according to the government's 15th annual report, the IKA was examining the possibility of re-establishing, for victims of employment injury with less than 50% incapacity, the right to long-term benefit at a reduced rate. It recalls that while such a reduced benefit was provided under the previous legislation, at present victims of employment injury whose incapacity is less than 50% are granted sickness benefit only for 720 days;

 

Finds that Greece continues 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 has already raised in its previous conclusions and to which no reply is given in the government's report;

 

Decides to invite the Government of Greece:

 

1. concerning Article 34, paragraph 2. c. of the Code, to indicate the measures taken or contemplated to ensure that medical care for victims of employment injury shall include nursing care at home, in accordance with this provision of the Code;

 

2. concerning Article 36, paragraph 2 of the Code, to take appropriate measures soon so as to  give full effect to this provision of the Code, which provides that, in case of partial incapacity likely to be permanent, the benefit shall be a periodical payment representing a suitable proportion of that specified for total incapacity, and to indicate the progress achieved in this respect in its next report.


Appendix 6

 

 

Resolution ResCSS (2000) …

on the application of the European code of social security

by Ireland

(Period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999)

 

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …

at the ….. meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

 

The Committee of Ministers,

 

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the “Code”), and with a view to supervising the application of this instrument by the Contracting Parties;

 

Whereas the Code, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since

17 February 1972 has 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 15 September 1999, its 26th annual report and the additional information on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 70th session in November-December 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 74, this report and the conclusions adopted thereon by the above-mentioned committee were examined by the Committee of Experts on Standard-setting Instruments in the Social Security Field at its 2nd meeting from 13 to 15 September 2000;

 

Having considered the conclusions reached by the above-mentioned committee after examination of the aforesaid documents;

 

Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 9 on the 25th report submitted by the Government of Ireland in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code,

 

Notes, that in reply to the Committee of Ministers' previous conclusions, the government indicates that the reference wage of a standard beneficiary is based on the simple average wage rate in respect of Grade 3 basic labourers in the co-operative dairy industry and is compiled by the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society Ltd. from an annual survey of twenty-three societies in the industry;

 

Finds that Ireland continues to give full effect to the provisions of the parts of the Code which have been accepted;

 

Decides to invite the Government of Ireland, as the reference wage is thus selected in accordance with paragraph 4. b. of Article 66 of the Code, to confirm in its next report, on the basis of the appropriate statistics requested in Title I of the report form on the Code under this article, that the typical ordinary labourer (Grade 3 basic labourer), the division (co-operative dairy industry) and the major group of economic activity to which the ordinary labourer belongs, are determined in accordance with the requirements specified in paragraph 5 of Article 66,  and to reiterate its previous request for receiving statistics on the total value of family benefits requested in the report form under Article 44 of the Code.

 


Appendix 7

 

 

Resolution ResCSS (2000) …

on the application of the European code of social security

by Italy

(Period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999)

 

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …

at the ….. meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

 

The Committee of Ministers,

 

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the “Code”), and with a view to supervising the application of this instrument by the Contracting Parties;

 

Whereas the Code, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since

21 January 1978 has been binding on Italy, which ratified it on 20 January 1977;

 

Whereas, when ratifying the Code, the Government of Italy 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 VIII on “maternity benefit”;

 

Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, the Italian Government submitted, on 19 October 1999, its 15th annual report on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 70th session in November-December 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 74, this report and the conclusions adopted thereon by the above-mentioned committee were examined by the Committee of Experts on Standard-setting Instruments in the Social Security Field at its 2nd meeting from 13 to 15 September 2000;

 

Having considered the conclusions reached by the above-mentioned Committee after examination of the aforesaid documents;

 


Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 10 on the 14th report submitted by the Government of Italy in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code,

 

Notes:

 

1. concerning Part V (Old-age benefit) of the Code,

 

a. that it had raised the question of the progressive increase of the minimum requirements respecting insurance and contributions, with the obligation to complete twenty years of contributions as of 1 January 2001 (see section 2.1 of Decree No. 503 of 30 December 1992 and Schedule B), while Article 29, paragraph 2. a. of the Code provides that a reduced old-age benefit shall be secured at least to a person protected who has completed a qualifying period of 15 years of contribution or employment. In its reply, the government reiterates certain information that it provided in its 13th annual report and emphasises in particular that Act No. 335 of 8 August 1995, which establishes a new old-age pension, provides for a minimum qualifying period of five years for new insured persons. It therefore considers that the problem raised by the Committee of Ministers should be considered to have been resolved.

 

The Committee of Ministers notes this information. However, it understands that the new qualifying period set out in Act No. 335 of 1995 has not yet fully come into force in view of the transitional provisions. According to the information provided by the Government in its 13th and 14th reports, until 1 January 2001 the age requirements set out for entitlement to the old-age pension will continue to be governed by the provisions of Legislative Decree No. 503 of 1992, irrespective of the standards used for the calculation of the pension. The Committee of Ministers therefore notes that, during the period covered by the report, insured persons who have not completed the qualifying period set out in Legislative Decree No. 503 of 30 December 1992 -18 years as of 1 January 1997 - are not entitled to a reduced old-age pension, contrary to the provisions of Article 29, paragraph 2. a. of the Code;

 

b. With regard to the review of old-age pensions (Article 65, paragraph 10, and Article 66, paragraph 8, of the Code), it recalls that in its previous conclusions it asked to be provided with all the statistical information requested in the report form under Article 65 (Title VI), particularly with regard to the evolution of old-age pensions, the annual average pension by beneficiary, and not only statistics on changes in the level of minimum wage of employees. However, this information was not included in the report;

 

2. With regard to Part VII (Family benefit), Article 44 of the Code, and referring to its previous conclusions, the new statistical information supplied by the government on the level of family benefit, which shows that the total value of cash benefits provided for children under 18 years of age rose from 4 200 billion lire in 1996 to 5 000 billion lire in 1997. As a result, the total value of these benefits now represents 1.61% of the reference wage multiplied by the number of children under the age of 18. The Committee of Ministers therefore notes with interest that the percentage prescribed in Article 44 of the Code (1.5%) is easily achieved. However, it notes that the total value of cash benefits provided in respect of children under the age of 18 is based, according to the information provided by the Government, on estimated data;


Finds that Italy continues to give full effect to Parts VI and VIII of the Code and that they also ensure the application of Part V and VII, subject to the points raised in its previous conclusions, on which the government has not provided any information;

 

Decides to invite the Government of Italy:

 

1. concerning Part V (Old-age benefit) of the Code,

 

a. to indicate in its next report the measures that have been taken or are envisaged to give full effect to this provision of the Code in the case of insured persons who take their retirement before the minimum qualifying period of five years' contributions envisaged by Act No. 335 of 1995 becomes applicable;

 

b. concerning the review of old-age pensions, in order to be fully in a position to assess the manner in which effect is given to these provisions of the Code, to provide all the requested statistics in its next report and to establish the comparisons requested in the report form based on the cost-of-living index and the index of earnings, as it does in the context of Part VI of the Code, and not on the changes in the consumer price index for families of wage-earners and employees. Indeed, this latter index shows an increase (of around 2%) which is well below that of the cost of living and the index of earnings;

 

2. with regard to Part VII (Family benefit), to provide additional information on the methods used for the calculation of this estimate.

 


Appendix 8

 

 

Resolution ResCSS (2000) …

on the application of the European code of social security

and its protocol by Luxembourg

(Period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999)

 

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …

at the ….. meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

 

The Committee of Ministers,

 

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 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 8 July 1999, its 31st annual report on the application of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 70th session in November-December 1999;


Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 74, this report and the conclusions adopted thereon by the above-mentioned committee were examined by the Committee of Experts on Standard-setting Instruments in the Social Security Field at its 2nd meeting from 13 to 15 September 2000;

 

Having considered the conclusions reached by the above-mentioned committee after examination of the aforesaid documents;

 

Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 11 on the 30th 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 Luxembourg continues to give full effect to the provisions of the Code and the Protocol.

 


Appendix 9

 

 

Resolution ResCSS (2000) …

on the application of the European code of social security

and its protocol by Norway

(Period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999)

 

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …

at the ….. meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

 

The Committee of Ministers,

 

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 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 16 August 1999, its 32nd annual report on the application of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 70th session in November-December 1999;


Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 74, this report and the conclusions adopted thereon by the above-mentioned committee were examined by the Committee of Experts on Standard-setting Instruments in the Social Security Field at its 2nd meeting from 13 to 15 September 2000;

 

Having considered the conclusions reached by the above-mentioned committee after examination of the aforesaid documents;

 

Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 13 on the 31st report submitted by the Government of Norway in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol,

 

Notes, 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 of Ministers 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 of Ministers 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”. To assess the practical effect of the new legislation, the Committee of Ministers has asked the Government to supply a copy of any guidelines followed by the employment market service in making offers of employment to an unemployed person and in determining whether this person had a reasonable ground for refusing it, indicating in particular to what extent account was being taken in practice of such considerations as skills, qualifications, acquired experience and length of service in the former occupation, as well as the personal and family situation of the persons concerned in case the job offered implied a change of residence. It also asked for statistical information on the number of cases in which unemployment benefit was suspended due to refusal to accept the job offered for the whole period since the entry into force of the new legislation on 1 January 1997.

 

The Committee of Ministers notes the information provided by the government in reply to these requests, including an English translation of the relevant provisions of the National Insurance Act, the regulations on unemployment benefit and the current guidelines issued by the Directorate of Labour. It also notes, from the statistics supplied by the government, that the number of cases in which unemployment benefit was suspended due to refusal to accept the job offered by the employment market service actually decreased in 1998 (2,202 cases) in comparison with 1997 (2,349 cases) when the new legislation was first introduced, and showed a further downward tendency in the first quarter of 1999. As explained by the government, this trend coincided with the period of lowering unemployment (the unemployment rate in Norway has decreased from 3.3% in 1997 to 2.4% in 1998) during which, compared to the periods of high unemployment, the practice of imposing sanctions on recipients of unemployment benefit who refuse to take jobs offered is somewhat stricter. The reason for this is that during periods of low unemployment, when the demand for labour is strong and the employment market service has more jobs to place people into, it may be necessary for it to fill jobs that are not very suitable to the unemployed people to whom they are offered. Nevertheless, the Government considers that current legislation permitting withdrawal of unemployment benefit for refusing employment “without reasonable grounds” is less restrictive than the old one referring to “suitable employment”, since it opens the possibility to take into account in favour of the recipient matters that relate to family and care situations rather than the job. It refers in particular to sections G.5 and G.7 of the guidelines issued by the Directorate of Labour, which lay down exceptions from the obligation to take full-time work and the requirement of full geographical mobility based on such criteria as impaired health of the jobseeker, care of small children, care, nursing or sole responsibility for other close members of the family, the need for the child to stay in the same school, and the like. The Committee of Ministers notes that such criteria are in line with those normally used in assessing the suitability of employment as far as the personal and family situation of the unemployed person is concerned.

 


As regards assessing the suitability of employment offered on the basis of criteria which relate to skills, qualifications, acquired experience and length of service in the former occupation, the Government states in its report on ILO Convention No. 168 that the initial conversation with the jobseeker is very important in this respect as his qualifications and individual possibilities to obtain employment will be considered by the Labour Market Administration in co-operation with the jobseeker himself and the necessary assistance offered. Jobseekers are then encouraged to be active in their job-seeking process in order to find work, if possible without further assistance from the Labour Market Administration. If they have difficulty in finding work or are uncertain about their possibilities, they are offered further guidance, either individually or in groups, and after three months are re-contacted by the employment office. In all contacts with the jobseekers, the importance of their own commitment and activity in obtaining a job suited to their theoretical and practical competence and personal situation is stressed. In each individual case, an assessment of the person's skills, qualifications, acquired experience and length of service in former occupation, as well as his or her personal and family situation, is made. However, the Government specifies that, when it is decided whether to withdraw his or her benefit for a limited period of time or not, no account is taken of the person's length of service in the former occupation or of the acquired experience, and there are no formal guidelines to this effect. Moreover, if the person in question has been unemployed for a long time, this may be considered a reason for applying the principles that are in force in a stricter way than otherwise. In its report on the Code, the government adds that, in practice, a standard for what is suitable employment is set by the employer himself when reporting a vacancy and accepting the person offered by the employment service; any public employment service, working to place unemployed persons in employment, must take these employer considerations into account.

 

The Committee takes full note of this information. It agrees with the government that supplying workers who meet the standard of suitability established by the employer for the job offered is an important function of the public employment service in regulating the labour market from the supply side. The effectiveness of the employment market service in this respect is confirmed by the lowering rate of unemployment in Norway in recent years. However, in matching jobseekers with vacancies, the public employment service is also called to fulfil the no less important task of ensuring that, on the demand side, the jobs offered are of a quality that corresponds to the professional skills and qualifications of the prospective jobseekers. From this perspective, it appears from the explanations given by the government that, under the new legislation, the task of finding quality jobs suited to the theoretical and practical competence of the jobseekers has been shifted from the employment market service to the jobseekers themselves, thus becoming primarily their own responsibility. Formal disregard by the employment market service of the jobseeker's competence in judging the reasonableness of his or her refusal to accept the employment offered might result in compelling the jobseeker concerned to take up a lower quality job unsuitable to his qualifications, but which the employment service has to fill, particularly during periods of low unemployment. Nationwide, if skilled workers, disregarding their higher qualifications, were to be systematically placed in less skilled jobs, such labour market policy would inevitably lead to deskilling of the national workforce and the substantial reduction of the employment opportunities for unskilled workers at the low end, pushing them into long-term unemployment and exclusion. Thus, favouring the supply-side over the demand-side approach in regulating the labour market, and thereby orienting the employment market service to providing workers suitable for jobs rather than jobs suitable for workers, would in the long run lead to labour market imbalances and inefficiencies and to situations of under-utilization of the human resources potential. On the contrary, in the logic of the Code, which seeks to strike a balance between supply and demand in the labour market in terms of quality and not only quantity of employment, such situations are to be prevented through the systematic application by the public employment service of the concept of suitable employment in their placement policies, a concept which is no longer used in the current Norwegian legislation on unemployment insurance.


In this respect, the Committee of Ministers notes that, according to section G.4 of the guidelines of the Directorate of Labour, in order to be regarded as a genuine jobseeker, an applicant for unemployment benefit must as a general rule be willing and able to accept any work that is remunerated according to a collective wage agreement or a local custom. Paragraph 1 of section G.4. details that the obligation to accept any work means that applicants for employment cannot make reservations as regards the type of occupation they will work in and must be willing to accept any work for which they are physically and mentally fit, even occupations for which they are not trained or in which they have no previous experience. It is the employer's assessment of the applicant's qualifications which is decisive. Applicants for employment must be also willing to take up work at a lower rate of pay than their previous income and, in special cases, even lower than their daily cash benefit. The Committee further notes from the explanations provided by the Government in the report on ILO Convention No. 168 that while skill, qualification, acquired experience and length of service in former occupation may be taken into consideration in negotiations between the jobseeker concerned and the Labour Market Administration, these criteria for assessing the suitability of employment offered are not taken into account when the decision on the withdrawal of the benefit is taken following the jobseeker's refusal to accept the employment offered on these grounds.

 

In this situation, the Committee of Ministers cannot but observe that, apart from the few exceptions provided, the new provisions of the National Insurance Act referred to above and the guidelines 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. It would like to recall in this respect 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 utilisation is made of human resources potential;

 

Finds that Norway continues 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 ;

 


Decides to invite the Government of Norway:

 

1. 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 thirty weeks within a period of twelve 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;

 

2. to supply in its next report a translation into English, if available, of the new and modernised National Insurance Act adopted on 28 February 1997.


Appendix 10

 

 

Resolution ResCSS (2000) …

on the application of the European code of social security

and its protocol by Portugal

(Period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999)

 

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …

at the ….. meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

 

The Committee of Ministers,

 

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 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 22 July 1999, its 14th annual report on the application of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 70th session in November-December 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 74, this report and the conclusions adopted thereon by the above-mentioned committee were examined by the Committee of Experts on Standard-setting Instruments in the Social Security Field at its 2nd meeting from 13 to 15 September 2000;

 

Having considered the conclusions reached by the above-mentioned committee after examination of the aforesaid documents;

 

Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 14 on the 13th report submitted by the Government of Portugal in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol,

 

Notes:

 

1. concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit), Article 23 of the Code, that, in its previous conclusions, it noted that the qualifying period for entitlement to unemployment benefit, under section 12 of Legislative Decree No. 79-A/89 establishing the unemployment insurance scheme of the general social security scheme (540 days of salaried employment over the last 24 months preceding the date of unemployment) is one of the longest among the countries which have ratified the Code, whereas Article 23 of the Code only authorises such qualifying period as may be considered necessary to preclude abuse. The Committee of Ministers had therefore, taking into account the overall revision of the legal framework for unemployment insurance announced by the government, invited the government would re-examine the question of the length of the qualifying period for entitlement to unemployment benefit in the light of this provision of the Code.

 

In its reply, the government indicates that the qualifying period was not modified during the revision of the legal framework for unemployment insurance and explains the reasons. According to the government, the general policy now gives priority to active measures for the promotion of employment, such as allowances for part-time work, measures for the combination of employment and training and other measures which are considered more effective than any reduction in the qualifying period. Furthermore, on a labour market where the characteristics of rigidity and stable contracts of employment without limit of time are being maintained and are associated with a fall in the unemployment rate, there are no indicators of cases of exclusion from unemployment protection due to failure to comply with the qualifying period. However, individual workers with low levels of resources who are exposed to situations of the greatest economic vulnerability, as well as whole economic sectors undergoing restructuring to which the normal pattern of unemployment does not apply, are covered by additional protection measures against unemployment which include a shorter qualifying period, namely, by the social allowance for unemployment which, although means-tested, requires a shorter qualifying period, and by the provisions of Legislative Decree No. 291 of 10 August 1991 authorising shorter qualifying periods for entitlement to unemployment benefit in the above sectors. The government also considers that a reduction in the qualifying period might lead to abuse of the right, since periods of unemployment are credited as periods of contribution. It is necessary also to include measures to prevent abuse of the system of protection, since the concept of involuntary unemployment also includes unemployment resulting from mutual agreement following the restructuring of the enterprise, in which case the protection provided covers a much wider range of situations. Finally, in view of the fact that unemployment is characterised by a majority of long-term and older unemployed persons, whose integration into the labour market is very difficult, the government has chosen to increase the duration of periods of protection (including through measures to bring forward the age of entitlement to an old-age pension), counterbalanced by relatively greater difficulty in gaining entitlement to benefit.

 

The Committee of Ministers notes this information and Legislative Decree No. 119/99 of 14 April 1999 establishing the new legal framework for unemployment benefit, of which section 16.1 maintains the qualifying period established by the previous legislation for entitlement to unemployment benefit. It also notes that, under section 1. 2. of the legislative decree, this legal framework for unemployment benefit is established within the framework of the general social security scheme and includes three types of measures:

 

a. passive measures, including the provision of unemployment benefit and the social allowance for unemployment (section 2 of the legislative decree);

 

b. active measures, including the payment of the total amount of unemployment benefit for the creation of a self-employed activity; the accumulation of partial unemployment benefit with part-time work; the total or partial suspension of unemployment benefit during vocational training courses, with the payment of compensation; and the maintenance of unemployment benefit during the exercise of occupational activities (section 3); and

 

c. exceptional measures in specific situations governed by special legislation and including the reduction of the qualifying period for unemployment benefit and the extension of the period for which this benefit is provided (section 4).

 

Taking into account all of the measures against unemployment within the framework of the general social security scheme, the Committee of Ministers notes, from the detailed arguments put forward by the government in its reply, that the concept of the qualifying period for entitlement to unemployment benefit has been taken beyond the strict framework of the legislation establishing the conditions for entitlement to social security benefits and is now considered in the much broader context of the active labour market policy in Portugal. According to the government, the determination of the qualifying period for entitlement to unemployment benefit is established as a counterpart to the following factors: the actual duration of the period for which benefit is paid in view of the age of the insured person, the range of contingencies covered, the additional rights acquired through periods of unemployment, the duration of contracts and other characteristics of the labour market and active measures for the promotion of employment.

 

While recognising the importance of these factors in the proper functioning of unemployment insurance, the Committee of Ministers wishes to recall that the objective of establishing the requirement to complete a qualifying period for entitlement to unemployment benefit, as laid down in Article 23 of the Code, was more restricted and aimed only “to preclude abuse”, in view of its scope of coverage determined in Article 21 and the definition of the contingency contained in Article 20. Thus, in schemes whose scope of coverage is restricted to prescribed categories of employees, this would imply ensuring in the first place that applicants indeed fall within the category of protected persons for which benefits are due, since unemployment benefit is, by the very nature of the contingency (loss of earnings) reserved for persons who are normally employed. In a national system covering all residents, in which the qualifying period for entitlement to unemployment benefit may include the completion of a period of residence which may be considered necessary to preclude abuse, this qualifying period would also serve to verify that applicants are normally resident on the national territory. Clearly, in schemes in which the qualifying period is established for the sole purpose of preventing abuse, there would be no need to take exceptional measures to further reduce this qualifying period.

 

The Committee of Ministers also wishes to emphasise that in no event the objective of the qualifying period provided by the Code is to make entitlement to unemployment benefit more difficult for certain categories of protected persons in compensation for the provision of broader protection for other categories of workers. The fact that the current qualifying period in Portugal makes entitlement to unemployment benefit relatively difficult is illustrated by the very need to take special measures to reduce this qualifying period in traditional economic sectors undergoing restructuring, such as the textile and garment sectors, in which the labour market is characterised by rigidity and a system of stable contracts, the existence of which would, according to the Government, justify the maintenance of long qualifying periods. With regard to workers covered by fixed-term contracts, whose numbers appear to be very high, the completion of the current qualifying period of 540 days of salaried employment over the past two years is particularly difficult. On this subject, the Committee of Ministers notes, for example, that under the regulations respecting fixed-term contracts introduced recently in relation to the conditions of service of the National Health Service by Legislative Decree No. 53/98 of 11 March 1998, public health establishments are authorised to engage one-third of their staff under fixed-term contracts, which may not exceed a total duration of two years. Furthermore, the Committee of Ministers once again wishes to draw the government's attention to the fact that the social allowance for unemployment, for which the duration of the qualifying period appears to comply with the requirements of Article 23 of the Code, does n, however, respond to the requirements set out in Articles 21. b. and 22, paragraph 2, of the Code, due to the fact that it is subject to a means test under section 18 of Legislative Decree No. 119/99, and cannot therefore be considered as a method of protection giving effect to Part IV of the Code. With regard to the government's statement to the effect that there are no indicators of cases of exclusion from protection against unemployment due to the failure to complete the qualifying period, the Committee of Ministers refers to the comments made by the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (CGTP-IN), transmitted by the government with its report for 1998 on the application of ILO Convention No. 102. According to these comments, the qualifying period of 540 days is excessive since it has the effect of excluding from protection a considerable number of workers who, due to the current precarity and instability of the labour market, do not succeed in completing such a qualifying period. According to the CGTP-IN, this situation implies a violation of the principle of the universality of protection established by the Convention. Finally, the Committee of Ministers notes that, under section 1. 1. of Legislative Decree No. 119/99, the new legal framework for unemployment benefit has been established “without detriment to the requirements in an applicable international instrument”; the European Code of Social Security, which has been ratified by Portugal, being such an instrument. In view of this provision and taking into account the above comments, it hopes that the Government will be able to re-examine the question of the qualifying period for entitlement to unemployment benefit set out in section 16. 1. of Legislative Decree No. 119/99 in order to bring it into conformity with the requirements of Article 23 of the Code;

 

2. concerning Part VII (Family benefit), Article 43 of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, that in its previous conclusions, the Committee of Ministers noted that section 15 of Legislative Decree No. 133-B/97 establishing the legal framework of family benefit in the general social security scheme makes entitlement to family benefit, except for persons receiving pensions, conditional on the completion of a qualifying period of six months' registered remuneration, either on a continuous or an interrupted basis, during the twelve months preceding the second month prior to the application. In view of the fact that, under Article 43 of the Code, the qualifying period shall not exceed one month of contribution or employment, or six months of residence within a prescribed period, the government was requested to indicate the measures which had been taken or were envisaged to give full effect to this provision of the Code. In its reply, the Government states that the approval of a legislative decree revising the legal framework for family benefit established by Legislative Decree No. 133-B/97 is envisaged in the short term and that one of the proposed modifications concerns the abolition of the qualifying period for entitlement to family benefit. The Committee of Ministers notes this information with interest. It hopes that the above draft text will be adopted in the very near future and that it will bring the national legislation into full conformity with Article 43 of the Code on this point;

 

Finds, on the basis of the statistical information provided on the total value of family benefit (Part VII, Article 44 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol), which was requested in its previous conclusions and provided by the government, that Portugal continues to give full effect to Parts II and VIII of the Code and to Parts III, V, IX and X of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, and that they also ensure the application of Parts IV and VII, subject to the receipt of additional information on the points referred to below;

 

Decides to invite the Government of Portugal:

 

1. concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit), Article 23 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, to continue providing information on any new measures taken to reduce the qualifying period for unemployment benefit in specific economic sectors;

 

2. concerning Part VII (Family benefit), Article 43 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, to indicate the progress achieved in this respect in its next report.

 


Appendix 11

 

 

Resolution ResCSS (2000) …

on the application of the European code of social security

by Spain

(Period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999)

 

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …

at the ….. meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

 

The Committee of Ministers,

 

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the “Code”), and with a view to supervising the application of this instrument by the Contracting Parties ;

 

Whereas the Code, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since

9 March 1995 has been binding on Spain, which ratified it on 8 March 1994;

 

Whereas, when ratifying the Code, the Spanish Government 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 19 August 1999, its 4th annual report on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 70th session in November-December 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 74, this report and the conclusions adopted thereon by the above-mentioned committee were examined by the Committee of Experts on Standard-setting Instruments in the Social Security Field at its 2nd meeting from 13 to 15 September 2000;

 

Having considered the conclusions reached by the above-mentioned Committee after examination of the aforesaid documents;

 

Recalling Resolution (2000) 15 on the 3rd report submitted by the Government of Spain in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code,

 

Finds that Spain continues 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 is given in the Government's report;

 

Decides to invite the Government of Spain to include the information requested in its next report and to refer in this respect to its previous conclusions which concerned the application of Part VI (Employment injury benefit), Article 34, paragraph 2 c. and e., and Article 36; and 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.

 


Appendix 12

 

 

Resolution ResCSS (2000) …

on the application of the European code of social security

and its protocol by Sweden

(Period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999)

 

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …

at the ….. meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

 

The Committee of Ministers,

 

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 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 19 July 1999, its 32nd annual report and additional information on the application of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 70th session in November-December 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 74, this report and the conclusions adopted thereon by the above-mentioned committee were examined by the Committee of Experts on Standard-setting Instruments in the Social Security Field at its 2nd meeting from 13 to 15 September 2000;

 

Having considered the conclusions reached by the above-mentioned committee after examination of the aforesaid documents;

 

Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 16 on the 31st report submitted by the Government of Sweden in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol,

 

Notes:

 

1. from the government's report and the attached documentation, that significant changes have been made to the old-age, disability and survivors' benefits by the pension reform adopted by the Parliament in 1998. The new unified old-age pension scheme, which came into force on 1 January 1999, replaced the basic pension (FP) and the national supplementary pension (ATP) by the income-related pension financed through redistribution of paid-in contributions under the PAYG system and pre-funded pension financed from individual savings accounts managed by independent fund managers. Pensions will start to be paid out under the new rules in 2001, with transitional provisions covering persons born between 1938 and 1953; persons born in 1954 and later will receive all of their pension under the new rules. The principal features of the new old-age pension system include: pensions based on lifelong earnings, including fictitious amounts credited for periods of childcare, national service and disability for which pension contributions are paid in full by the State or the relevant social insurance scheme; flexible retirement age with no upper age-limit; guaranteed state supplementary pensions for those who have not earned pensions considered to be sufficient; actual pension amounts determined with regard to the remaining life expectancy of the person concerned; possibility for  the capital accumulated in individual accounts to be claimed in the form of pre-funded pension or used for investment in security funds; transferability of pre-funded pension rights between married or registered partners, etc.

 

As regards the parallel reforms of the permanent and temporary disability pension and of survivors' pension, the Committee of Ministers notes from the available information that they have not yet been finalised. The Parliament adopted guidelines for a reform of the disability pension on 15 May 1998 and the new rules will come into force on 1 January 2001. The Survivors' Pensions Commission presented its report in September 1998;

 

2. 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 of Ministers has asked the government to supply statistical information on the level of the disability pension for a standard beneficiary whose inability did 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 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% of the 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 is 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 a wage including the basic child allowance and housing allowance.

 

The Committee of Ministers 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 cannot 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;

 

3. concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit) of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, that, in its conclusions of 1997, it asked the government to supply detailed information on the incidence of the new integrated unemployment insurance scheme introduced as of 1 January 1998 on the application of each article of this part of the Code in the manner requested by the report form. However, this information was not included in the government's subsequent reports; 

 

Finds that Sweden continues 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 is requested below;

 

Decides to invite the Government of Sweden:

 

1. to indicate in its next report detailed information on the impact of the pension reform measures on the application of each article of parts 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;

 

2. concerning Part IX (Invalidity benefit), Article 54 of the Code, as amended by the Protocol (in conjunction with Articles 56 and 57), to ascertain that this level continues to be attained in Sweden, 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 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 75% 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 50% of a full pension. In any case, the Committee of Ministers would like the government 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 and 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;

 

3. concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit) of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, to provide this previously requested information, which would greatly facilitate the task of analysing the relevant provisions of the new legislation.


Appendix 13

 

 

Resolution ResCSS (2000) …

on the application of the European code of social security

by Switzerland

(Period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999)

 

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …

at the ….. meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

 

The Committee of Ministers,

 

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), and with a view to supervising the application of this instrument 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 22 July 1999, its 21st annual report on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 70th session in November-December 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 74, this report and the conclusions adopted thereon by the above-mentioned committee were examined by the Committee of Experts on Standard-setting Instruments in the Social Security Field at its 2nd meeting from 13 to 15 September 2000;

 

Having considered the conclusions reached by the above-mentioned committee after examination of the aforesaid documents;


Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 17 on the 20th report submitted by the Government of Switzerland in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code,

 

Finds that Switzerland continues to give full effect to the parts of the Code which have been accepted.

 

 


Appendix 14

 

 

Resolution ResCSS (2000) …

on the application of the European code of social security

by Turkey

(Period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999)

 

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …

at the ….. meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

 

The Committee of Ministers,

 

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the « Code »), and with a view to supervising the application of this instrument 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 22 July 1999, its 18th annual report and the additional information on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 70th session in November-December 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 74, this report and the conclusions adopted thereon by the above-mentioned committee were examined by the Committee of Experts on Standard-setting Instruments in the Social Security Field at its 2nd meeting from 13 to 15 September 2000;

 


Having considered the conclusions reached by the above-mentioned committee after examination of the aforesaid documents;

 

Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 18 on the 17th report submitted by the Government of Turkey in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code,

 

Notes:

 

1. that in its previous conclusions, it noted, on the basis of the statistics for the period from April 1996 to April 1997 supplied by the government, that the increase in the cost of living appeared to be taken into account when adjusting current periodical payments in respect of long-term benefits (Part XI (Standards to be complied with by periodical payments), Article 65, paragraph 10, or Article 66, paragraph 8, of the Code), and requested the Government to continue to provide the statistical information necessary to monitor the situation. In its latest report, the government provides such information with respect to the increases applied during the reporting period to the adjustment coefficient and the table of indices used for the calculation of pensions, together with the corresponding changes of the minimum and maximum pensions, the social assistance increment remaining the same. The Committee of Ministers observes, however, that the report does not contain the corresponding data on the changes in the cost of living requested in its previous conclusions, which makes it impossible for it to ascertain whether, in view of the particularly high inflation in Turkey, the adjustment of pensions currently paid to the standard beneficiary continues to reflect the rise in the cost of living;

 

2. as regards the calculation of benefits, that it has repeatedly requested the government to provide, for each of the parts accepted, the statistics on the rate of benefits paid to a standard beneficiary whose earnings are equal to the wage of a skilled manual male employee selected in accordance with Article 65, paragraph 6, of the Code. In the absence of such statistics in the present report, the Committee of Ministers remains unable to determine whether the level of benefits in Turkey continues to correspond to the replacement rates established by the Code;

 

Finds that Turkey continues to give effect to Part II of the Code. As regards Parts III, V, VI, VIII, IX and X, the Committee of Ministers once again has not found in the government's report full information and statistical data requested in its previous conclusions which would enable it to better assess the extent to which national legislation and practice continue to give full effect to these parts of the Code as regards the level and the adjustment of benefits. In fact, the government's 18h annual report is identical to its previous report with updated statistics;

 


Decides to invite the Government of Turkey:

 

as regards Parts III, V, VI, VIII, IX and X, to provide, in the manner requested in the report form on the Code, full information on the points mentioned below:

 

1. concerning the review of periodical payments in respect of long-term benefits (Part XI, Standards to be complied with by periodical payments (Article 65, paragraph 10, or Article 66, paragraph 8, of the Code)), to include in its next report the statistical information, in the manner required in the report form under Article 65 (Title VI), reflecting for the same time period the changes in the cost of living (consumer prices) as well as in the coefficient, social assistance increment and minimum, average and maximum pensions;

 

2. as regards the calculation of benefits, to communicate in its next report up-to-date information on the wage of the skilled manual male employee (who could for example be a fitter-assembler in the manufacture of machinery other than electrical machinery) selected in accordance with Article 65, paragraph 6. a., and on the rate of the 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, for a single period of reference and in the manner required in the report form under Article 65 (Titles I to V). In this respect, it should be recalled that, in establishing the above statistics, consideration must be given to the duration of the qualifying periods provided for in respect of long-term benefits (that is, according to the Code, thirty years of contribution or employment for old-age and fifteen years for invalidity and the death of the breadwinner; the benefits in case of employment injuries shall be paid without any qualifying period);

 

3. to continue to provide the following information: an up-to-date table containing the higher and lower indices together with the corresponding average wages, the wage for the years taken into account for the calculation of pensions and corresponding to the highest index, as well as statistics relating to the changes in the coefficient;

 

4. to indicate in its next report, as already requested in its previous conclusions, 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;

 

5. to include in its next report, with reference to its previous conclusions, information on any measures taken or contemplated as a result of the technical assistance in the field of social security provided in recent years by the International Labour Office and other international organisations, and on the progress made in the achievement of the objectives of the seventh five-year development plan in the area of social security, to which the government has referred in the additional information supplied with its previous report.

 

 


Appendix 15

 

 

Resolution ResCSS (2000) …

on the application of the European code of social security

by the United Kingdom

(Period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999)

 

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …

at the ….. meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

 

The Committee of Ministers,

 

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the “Code”), and with a view to supervising the application of this instrument 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 United Kingdom Government submitted, on 28 July 1999, its 31st annual report and the additional information on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 70th session in November-December 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 74, this report and the conclusions adopted thereon by the above-mentioned committee were examined by the Committee of Experts on Standard-setting Instruments in the Social Security Field at its 2nd meeting from 13 to 15 September 2000;

 


Having considered the conclusions reached by the above-mentioned committee after examination of the aforesaid documents;

 

Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 19 on the 30th report submitted by the Government of the United Kingdom in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code,

 

Notes: 

 

concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit) of the Code, that the government's report contains no reply to the questions raised in its previous conclusions, the main points of which are summarised below:

 

1. Articles 20 and 24 of the Code (in relation to Article 68): the Committee of Ministers 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;

 

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

 

Finds that the United Kingdom continues 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;

 

Decides to invite the Government of the United Kingdom:

 

Concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit), in the hope of receiving the information requested next year, to be referred to its previous conclusions:

 

1. concerning Articles 20 and 24 of the Code (in relation to Article 68), to indicate 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 and 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 authorised when the means of the beneficiary and his family exceed the substantial amounts referred to in Article 67 of the Code. To also 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 to provide 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, as well as 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 of Ministers wishes to be informed of any measures taken by the Government to increase the level of the contribution-based jobseekers' allowance. Finally, noting the government's intention to introduce a national minimum wage as soon as convenient and to make corresponding modifications in the jobseekers' legislation, it expresses the hope that the government will provide information on any progress achieved in this respect. 

 



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