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Dutch language required for social security: “no Dutch, no welfare”

Dutch language required for social security: "no Dutch, no welfare" (Picture: RTL Nieuws)

Who doesn’t speak and doesn’t want to learn the Dutch language, will lose his welfare within a year. The law “no Dutch, no welfare” should be applied from next year. This is a bill that State Secretary Jetta Klijnsma of Social Affairs sent to the Council of State.

According to the proposal, those who apply for social assistance, must speak “basic” Dutch. This means that you should be able to carry on an easy conversation about daily things. When in doubt, municipalities can test your language level. If you don’t speak the language, you are required to learn it.

Cut in social security

Those who refuse to learn Dutch, will immediately be cut with 20 percent in social assistance. If, after six months you are still culpable of not making progress, you get 40 percent cut. If after a year you do not speak Dutch, you lose the benefit.

How good do you need to master the language for social security?  Five questions to political reporter Roel Schreinemachers.

  1. Why this law?

    Currently, several thousands of people in the Netherlands hardly speak a word of Dutch and ask assistance yet. The government wants to counteract this.

  2. Is the law only applicable for foreigners or also for Dutch people speaking the language bad?

    The government makes no formal distinction, whether you’re a Pole, an Italian or a Somaliar. Or Dutch. In theory it could be a problem if you speak only dialect Dutch. The coalition has agreed: “The principle has to be applied consistently: for foreign nationals from third countries, EU nationals and Dutch.”

  3. The law says that you must be able to speak basic Dutch. What is basic Dutch?

    In technical terms, the government speaks about language level to 1F. Language Level 1F means that you can carry on easy conversations and interpret information, notions and opinions. Furthermore, it means that you can read easy texts about recognisable topics and are able to write brief, simple texts.

    The point is that you have to demonstrably do your best to learn Dutch. Even if someone has an enormous difficulty with the language, he can show you that he is doing his best. It is about simple conversations and that you can make yourself understood in your workplace and understand instructions. According to Roel Schreinemachers you should be really very low literated not to reach this level.

  4. Does anyone applying for social assistance now need to do a language test?

    No, first there is an intake interview with the municipality. If municipalities have doubts about the level of your language, then they can decide to check the language level. Municipalities will be responsible for the language examinations.

  5. What happens if your Dutch keeps defective?

    See above: those who refuse to learn Dutch, will immediately be cut with 20 percent in social assistance. If, after six months you are still culpable of not making progress, you get 40 percent cut. If after a year don’t speak Dutch, you lose the benefit.

(Source: RTL Niews)

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Arianna

Arianna

Publisher / Community / Marketing Manager at expatsHaarlem
Arianna was born in Rome, Italy and grew up mostly in Florence. When she was 18 years old she came to the Netherlands, where she remained till today. Arianna likes to make trips, discover Haarlem, taste good food, meet internationals and share experiences. Currently she is living with her hubby and 3 toddlers in one of the cutest little neighborhoods of Haarlem, de Vijfhoek.
Arianna

2 replies
  1. Arianna
    Arianna says:

    I agree. In addition, the required language level is very basic: making yourself understood in your workplace and understand instructions. Of course that you will never find a job if you lack even this.

  2. Nick Ferrara
    Nick Ferrara says:

    I agree, I think if you are a part of this society and are asking money from it you should be able to interact with it in the local language. I think it’s not good for people that move here only to collect money from the government (us actually) without even becoming a party of the community. I have no problem that the government helps people out when needed but it should not be taken advantage of.

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