Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2007): Social security - overseas

Comparative perspectives on changes to Canada’s paid parental leave: implications for class and gender

P.M. Evans

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 16, 2007, p. 119-128

Depending on their design, parental leave policies may help to maintain, reinforce or redress gender and class divisions in society. In 2001, Canada more than tripled the length of its paid parental leave (from 10 to 35 weeks), available to either eligible parent. When combined with maternity benefits, a total of 50 weeks of paid leave is now available in the first year of the child’s life to those who meet the qualifications for employment-based social insurance. However, an examination of the nature and impact of these changes suggests that they further exacerbate gender and class divisions in access and take-up.

The effectiveness of poverty reduction and the target efficiency of social security transfers in South Korea, 1999-2003

J.-S. Choi and J.-K. Choi

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 16, 2007, p. 183-189

Since the 1997 East Asian economic crisis, the Korean social security system has grown in terms of both public assistance programmes and social security programmes. This study analysed the poverty reduction effectiveness and target efficiency of these expanded social security transfers by using panel data covering 1999 to 2003 gathered from 2, 728 households. Results showed that the level of poverty reduction effectiveness of Korean social security transfers is only about one-seventh to one-tenth that of Western welfare states. Three reasons are advanced to explain why the level of poverty reduction effectiveness of Korean social security transfers is so low: the immaturity of the Korean old age pension; the lack of diversity in social transfer programmes; and strong dependency on private transfers within the family.

Social assistance dynamics in the Netherlands: exploring the sustainability of independence from social assistance via labour market inclusion

R. van Berkel

Social Policy and Society, vol.6, 2007, p. 127-139

The promotion of self-sufficiency through labour market inclusion and the reduction of social security dependency have become core objectives of the EU welfare states. Based on the experience of a large group of former benefits recipients in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, this research investigates what happens to unemployed people on social assistance when they find a job, and identifies groups that are more or less likely to be confronted with spells of renewed social assistance dependency or unemployment.

Who receives targeted benefits in transition? The effects of household characteristics on take-up rates in Russia’s child allowance programme

A. Alexandrova and E. Grishina

Social Policy and Society, vol. 6, 2007, p. 141-150

Child allowances in Russia are provided as monthly cash payments to families with children younger than 16 or 18. Since 1999, this programme has been means-tested and families are only eligible if their per capita income is below the official poverty line. Take-up of this benefit is high among non-poor households with children who get onto the programme by evading the means-test rules. Households are also more likely to participate when the relative significance of the benefit to their income is higher, or when entrance to the programme is facilitated by the experience of receipt of other benefits. Better-educated and urban households are less likely to participate, which corresponds to better earning opportunities.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web