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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2003): Social Security - Overseas

THE CURRENT SITUATION OF SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT IN SPAIN: ANALYSIS AND PERSPECTIVES BASED ON THE PERCEPTION OF PROFESSIONALS

M. Palliisera, M. Vila and M.J. Valls

Disability and Society, Vol. 18, 2003, p.797-810

The article examines the emergence of supported employment in Spain. It traces the development of employment integration of disabled people before considering the benefits of mainstream employment with a support scheme as opposed to sheltered employment. Interviews with professional workers in supported employment schemes are also included. The article concludes that the government should make a greater effort to promote and facilitate mainstream employment for people with disabilities and that a new approach is required to help people integrate into employment within their own community.

DOES "WORKFARE" WORK? THE NORWEGIAN EXPERIENCE

E. Dahl

International Journal of Social Welfare, Vol. 12, 2003 p. 274-288

The article examines the workfare programme in Norway, investigating the scheme's recruitment process and determining whether it enhances the participants' chances of becoming self-sufficient. Data was extracted from 40 departments in 39 municipalities out of 150 social assistance departments that ran workfare programmes in 1995. Clients involved in the schemes were compared to those from the same municipalities who did not participate. The study reveals that Norwegian workfare schemes are based on recruitment according to "need" and, therefore, that the schemes do not have a significant effect on either the level employment or earnings.

GLOBALIZATION AND LABOR PROTECTION IN OIL-POOR ARAB COUNTRIES: RACING TO THE BOTTOM?

M.P. Posusney

Global Social Policy, vol.3, 2003, p.267-297

Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Jordan share a number of characteristics that make them useful cases for assessing the effect of economic reform on formal sector labour in authoritarian countries. All four entered the 1980s with economies in which the government played a major role; sizeable public sectors were created as a consequence of post-colonial nationalisations when statist development strategies were adopted. In response to external crises, all four turned to multilateral lending agencies, especially the World Bank and the IMF, in the 1980s and 1990s and implemented stabilisation and structural adjustment programmes under their auspices. Under pressure from these multilateral lenders, each country committed itself to privatisation programmes. Article examines the consequences of privatisation for public sector workers, and reviews corresponding efforts to achieve labour market flexibility through revisions to labour codes. Findings indicate that authoritarian rulers have been constrained from implementing market reforms as rapidly as multilateral lenders have sought. However, stable private sector employment opportunities have proved inadequate, and the implementation of alternative systems of social protection lags behind the dismantling of the old models.

HARNESSING THE POWER OF BUSINESS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

P.M. McKessy

Working Brief, issue 149 2003, p.10-12

Introduces Connectus, an Australian project focused on preventing young people from developing drug and alcohol problems through the provision of training and employment opportunities. The project works with business, trade unions, Local Learning Employment Networks, secondary colleges, youth services and local government to develop a sustainable process that offers young people a career path through appropriate training and a job that has been pre-committed to that young person.

THE OPEN UNEMPLOYMENT TRAP: LIFE AT THE INTERSECTION OF LABOUR MARKET AND WELFARE STATE: THE CASE OF GERMANY

R. Gebauer and G. Vobruba

Journal of Social Policy, vol.32, 2003, p.571-587

It is widely assumed that the availability of social assistance discourages people from working. Authors test this assumption empirically using German social assistance as a case study. Analysis of data from the Social Assistance Calendar from the German Socio-economic Panel contradicts this theory and shows that most unemployed people re-enter the labour market after a relatively short period on benefits.

RISK TECHNOLOGY IN AUSTRALIA: THE ROLE OF THE JOB SEEKER CLASSIFICATION INSTRUMENT IN EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

C. McDonald, G. Marston and A. Buckley

Critical Social Policy, vol.23, 2003, p.498-525

Services to unemployed people in Australia have since 1998 been contracted out to over 200 private, non-profit and public sector organisations that together form the Job Network. Access to the Network is controlled by the job seeker classification instrument. This is an assessment tool designed evaluate and classify unemployed people in terms of the relative degree of disadvantage accruing from their life experiences, habits, dispositions and desires. The instrument is thus employed to determine the type of interaction clients have with the Job Network.

TANF PARTICIPATION RATES: DO COMMUNITY CONDITIONS MATTER?

D. Parisi and others

Rural Sociology, vol. 68, 2003, p.491-512

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programme is geared towards the needs of the urban poor. It fails to take account of the predicament of the rural poor, who come from communities where there are few employment opportunities and where local organisations have limited resources to help them. Present study examined the extent to which variations in community conditions account for differences in TANF participation rates, using data from the Mississippi Department of Human Services. Results suggest that TANF participation rates tend to be higher in communities with high concentrations of African Americans, less faith-based activities, more employment in retail trade, spatial concentration of the poor, and located in the Delta.

TRANSITIONAL JOBS FOR NON-ENGLISH SPEAKERS

J. Mueller

Working Brief, issue 149, 2003, p.16-17

Lifetrack Rsources of St Paul, Minnesota has been operating transitional jobs programmes for over twenty years. Article describes how their programme for non-English speakers, Advancement Plus, works. The programme is designed to provide six months of paid work experience and consists of three distinct levels requiring increasing work history, educational background and English proficiency.

WHICH TANF APPLICANTS ARE DIVERTED AND WHAT ARE THEIR OUTCOMES?

R. A. London

Social Service Review, Vol. 77, 2003, p.373-398

Thirty-four US states have diversion programmes in place which offer lump-sum payments or service vouchers to applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) who have short-term needs, enabling them to avoid beginning a spell of aid. Results show that diversion programmes appear to target Hispanic and married families as well as both high-school dropouts and people with advanced degrees. Diverting from TANF is also associated with lower employment rates and higher rates of Food Stamp receipt.

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