Thursday, February 16, 2012
In the Netherlands, apparently, the correct response is to arrange for uitkering benefits.
Uitkering is welfare, plain and simple. It's a bit of money you get from the government so that you can still buy food, and, depending on the circumstances through which you are unemployed, pay your mortgage, provide child care, and gives you a vacation "bonus" (in quotes because, being American, bonuses are something you need to earn). The exact amount you get depends, I would imagine, upon the probability of your finding a job and whether you have any disabilities. There are, of course, rules that you must follow in order to receiver your benefits (such as not having a successful business), and frankly, I'm not even sure I'd qualify, seeing as I am healthy and sound of body and mind. But the gist here is that it seems that applying for benefits is the first thing I should have done upon receiving notice of contract expiration. No less than three people this week have asked me whether I will be applying for it. It's starting to make me wonder if I should...
But I won't, because, as I learned today, applying for uitkering could complicate starting a business considerably, and it would limit my ability to work as much as I want to, to say nothing of finding another job. Of course, I am sure there are some sneaky Dutch people who flip the bird at the rules and do whatever they want and collect uitkering money, but the government can't deport them.