Information on the national implementation and use of the WAI in the Netherlands
In the summer of 2007, the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment made the decision that the concept of Workability and the WAI questionnaire should be promoted on a national scale in the Netherlands. The objective of the Ministry is to encourage a growing number of organisations and sectors to increase sustainable employability by using the WAI. The labour market in the Netherlands demands a labour force that works and will work longer, healthier and happier.
The department asked the Blik op Werk foundation to take care of the implementation of the WAI. Blik op Werk was chosen because this foundation represents the main Dutch organisations of employers, employees (unions) and providers. In order to be able to carry out its tasks, the foundation received a start-up subsidy from the Ministry. Blik op Werk will set up a pay-back model for the WAI, so that since 2011 the subsidy from the Dutch government has no longer been needed.
Blik op Werk operates as an independent platform and has the following four tasks:
• Promotion of work ability and the WAI
Creating national awareness and acceptance of the concept of work ability and the WAI on all levels.
• Setting up and maintaining learning networks
Sharing and distributing knowledge and experience through learning networks and (digital) media. Promoting research and innovation on the basis of Dutch practice.
• Promoting professional use of the WAI;
Managing and issuing the Dutch licence of the Work Ability Index in accordance with the agreements with the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and the Dutch WAI user agreement.
• Developing and managing a national WAI database with reference figures
This database is intended for benchmarking among sectors and will in time be a source for policy.
How is the WAI used in the Netherlands?
Blik op Werk obtained the exclusive licensing rights for the Dutch WAI from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH). An agreement with rules for the use of the Dutch WAI has been drawn up to guarantee correct use. Blik op Werk concludes sub-licences with organisations that apply the WAI and are able to comply with the rules. The privacy of employees is at least one element that is provided for in the rules. Blik op Werk tests the practical use of the WAI by licensees by means of audit interviews. A fee is payable for a sub-licence, plus a price for each completed questionnaire. Licensees submit their anonymous data to the national WAI database and have access to the database.
Gulpener Beer Brewery
Some results and activities
- Number of licensees
Current status: 60
- Number of questionnaires
Number of completed questionnaires in 2009: 20,000
Number of completed questionnaires in 2010: 30,000
Number of completed questionnaires in 2011: almost 50,000
- In January 2009, we introduced 10 learning networks about work ability. All networks had a moderator who facilitated the meetings of the network. The networks had different themes and participants. The network groups met up an average of four times a year. The moderators also met up a number of times. A total of 150 persons attended the network meetings. Apart from inspiration and exchanging experiences, the networks led to a booklet about the use of the WAI from the employee's perspective, and a research agenda. Four new learning networks were set up in 2010.
- The Work Ability Week
In 2010 en 2011 Blik op Werk and a number of joint venture partners organised the Work Ability Week. During this weeks, several meetings were held, with topics such as vitality, work ability, age management, research and workability training in companies and branches. Juhani Ilmarinen was the main speaker throughout, and addressed more than 2,000 participants. The national conference held on 9 February, entitled "the power of work ability" attracted 300 visitors. The Work Ability Weeks yielded a lot of publicity.
- WAI Database
In the summer of 2009, we started with the functional and technical design of the WAI database. At the end of 2011, the database counts almost 100,000 data.With these data we can create “live” reports and graphs. In the near future we will collect more data from our licensees. Expectations are that, in the future, we will have a powerful, national WAI benchmark that can be used by licensees, policy makers and researchers.
In august 2011 the first analyses were made. Some interesting graphs are downloadable here.
- Study trips and informative meetings
Blik op Werk organises informative meetings about work ability and holds various on-site presentations each month. From 2009, each year a special study trip to Finland takes place. Experience has taught us that after such a trip, the participants continue to form a network. In the future, Blik op Werk wishes to establish an exchange programme with other countries in order to exchange experiences.
International study tour 'Sustainability in the Netherlands'
4-7 november 2012
From November 4th till November7th Blik op Werk will conduct a 4-day programme for an international group of policy makers, advisors/consultants, researchers, HR directors, managers, experts and other representatives of organisations (corporate and SME), branches and government. We warmly invite you to participate in this study tour to learn from the Dutch approach, company visits, best practices, interactive sessions and the network of all the international participants.
Here you can find more information.
About Blik op Werk
The Blik op Werk foundation is a joint venture, set up in 2006 by employers' and employees' organisations, municipalities, service providers, the UWV benefits agency and client organisations. The foundation is a quality institute with the objective of contributing to a lifelong healthy and happy career, continued employment and finding a job. To that end, Blik op Werk provides contracting parties and clients with purchasing and selection information about the quality of service providers that are active on the market of sustainable employability. The most important tools used for this are the Blik op Werk Quality Mark for service providers and the (licence for the) Work Ability Index. Blik op Werk has been an independent foundation since 1 June 2010.
For questions or information, please contact:
Sietske van Rossum
WAI product manager
+31 30 291 60 29
+31 6 433 84 302
Yvonne van der Salm
WAI product assistant
+31 30 291 6023
0900 25 45 679 (€ 0,10 pm) firstname.lastname@example.org