The social security 'safety net' is still strong in the Netherlands. Employees who are dismissed, fall ill or become unable to work are almost always entitled to receive 70% or more of their final salary. At least for a temporary period. This income security is enshrined in social legislation. On the other side of the coin, all workers must pay social insurance premiums. These are deducted from wages at source, with the employer ensuring that they are paid to the relevant agencies.
In the list of social security provision and insurance you find an oversight.
Every citizen in the Netherlands is obliged to insure himself for medical expenses. Read more about the subject in Health insurance.
Sickness and incapacity benefits
Employers must continue to pay workers who fall ill. The Sickness Benefits Act (Ziektewet) provides a "safety net" for those without an employer. For more about this, read the article on sick pay and Sickness Benefit. Employees are insured against long-term inability to work under the Incapacity Benefits Act (Wet op de arbeidsongeschiktheidsverzekering). A new insurance called Wet Werk en Inkomen naar Arbeidsvermogen (WIA) (in Dutch) has replaced the WAO.
Self-employed people are responsible for their own turnover and profit, including any loss of income due to sickness or incapacity for work. They can insure themselves privately against this, but they are not required to.
Unemployment Benefit (Werkloosheidswet-uitkering, WW) is an insurance-funded payment for those who lose their job. Freelance workers may also be able to claim it in some cases. For more information, see the article on Unemployment Benefit (Dutch) and the special Unemployment Benefit rules for artists.
If you are in employment, you build up a compulsory pension, depending on the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO). If you are an independent entrepreneur, you must make your own pension arrangements, otherwise upon reaching pensionable age you will only be entitled to the Old Age Pension (AOW).
If you are unable to support yourself, in some cases you may be entitled to claim benefits under the Work and Income support Act (Wet Werk en Bijstand, WWB). This has replaced the old Income Support Act (Algemene Bijstandswet). The self-employed are not covered by this: provision for them is governed by the Self-Employed Persons' Income Support Order (Self-Employed Persons' Income Support Order).
Benefits for artists (WWIK)
If you have a low income as an artist, you could apply for Claim Artists' Income Provision (Wet Werk en Inkomen Kunstenaars-uitkering, WWIK). However, WWIK is abolished the January 1st 2012. Only those who already had the right to receive WWIK 31 of December 2011, transition arrangements apply till July 1st 2012.
Just finished your study?
In the article tips for those leaving school you can read about study financing, income and security after studying.