Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (Netherlands)

Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment
Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid

Coat of arms of the Netherlands

Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment
Department overview
Formed September 25, 1918 (1918-09-25)
Jurisdiction Kingdom of the Netherlands
Headquarters Anna van Hannoverstraat 4, The Hague, Netherlands
Annual budget €73,4 billion (2013)[1]
Minister responsible
Deputy Minister responsible
Website Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (Dutch: Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid; SZW) is the Dutch Ministry responsible for Social Affairs, Employment, relations between Employers and Employees, Social security, Trade unions and Emancipation. The Ministry was created in 1918 as the Ministry of Labour and had several name changes before it became the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in 1981. The Ministry is headed by the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, currently Lodewijk Asscher.

Azure, billetty Or a lion with a coronet Or armed and langued Gules holding in his dexter paw a sword Argent hilted Or and in the sinister paw seven arrows Argent pointed and bound together Or. [The seven arrows stand for the seven provinces of the Union of Utrecht.] The shield is crowned with the (Dutch) royal crown and supported by two lions Or armed and langued gules. They stand on a scroll Azure with the text (Or) "Je Maintiendrai" (French for "I will maintain".)
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Netherlands


The ministry is responsible for five fields of policy:


The ministry is currently headed by one minister and one state secretary. The ministry's main office is located in The Hague. The civil service is headed by a Secretary General and a vice-secretary general, who head a system of three directorates general:

Furthermore, there is an inspector general responsible for the inspection employment and income, who supervises the local centres for employment and income.

Mobility centres

Beginning in 2006, the Ministry established a network of mobility centres whose function is to coordinate the multiple companies of any given industry to facilitate the movement of employees between companies. This is seen as an alternative to forced lay-offs.


The ministry was founded in 1933, at the height of the Great Depression. Before that the limited social policy had been the responsibility of the ministry of Economic Affairs. After the Second World War the ministry became much more important, as the Netherlands transformed into a welfare state.

In 1982 the responsibility for labour market policy was transferred to the ministry from the ministry of Economic Affairs in order to enlarge the portfolio of Deputy Prime Minister Joop den Uyl. Emancipation also became a responsibility of the ministry.


  1. (Dutch) XV Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid, Rijksoverheid, September 18, 2012
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ministerie van Sociale Zaken (Nederland).
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 3/16/2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.