Edited by Henriette Sinding Aasen, Siri Gloppen, Anne-Mette Magnussen and Even Nilssen
Chapter 4: Unemployment compensation and the trade-off between equality and personal responsibility
Social citizenship includes the right of individuals to be economically compensated in times when, because of unfortunate circumstances such as involuntary unemployment, they do not have access to labor income. This right is covered by several human rights instruments, but social citizenship also includes obligations, such as the responsibility of benefit recipients to re-enter the labor market if possible. There is, however, a tension between social rights, on the one hand, and social obligations, on the other. Too much focus on rights rather than on obligations can easily result in a situation where many claimants who are not work-oriented (do not have a genuine benefit claim) receive benefits; conversely, excessive focus on obligations and responsibility easily creates a situation where many claimants who are work-oriented (have a genuine benefit claim) do not receive benefits or else receive less than fair benefits. Unemployment insurance compensation (UI) is a welfare scheme in which the tension between rights and obligations represents a severe challenge. On the one hand, we want to provide involuntarily unemployed individuals with what we believe are fair benefits, but, on the other hand, we want recipients to exert effort toward finding and accepting paid labor. How UI schemes in different countries make this trade-off between equality and responsibility is an underexplored topic that is addressed in this chapter.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.