Ireland recognized by European social security good practice prize
The International Social Security Association's (ISSA) Good Practice Award has been attributed to the Department of Social Protection, Ireland, for its achievement in the integration of the national welfare and employment services.
The prestigious award was attributed to the project Intreo – Integrated welfare and employment service at a ceremony during the Regional Social Security Forum for Europe, in Stockholm on 18 April. The competition, which is held every three years, received a total of 71 entries from 27 organizations in 19 countries.
Following the financial crisis in 2008, unemployment in Ireland grew by 300 per cent, placing high demands on the social security system. The existing employment and welfare services were fragmented, which meant processes were inefficient and impacted adversely on employment outcomes for individuals.
A business strategy was developed to merge the three organizations dealing with unemployment issues, integrate the services and staff of those organizations, and develop and implement new processes. The resulting efficiency gains were accompanied by more effective services and employment outcomes for a vulnerable sector of the population, resulting in the return to work of 75,000 long-term unemployed individuals.
"This good practice illustrates in an impressive manner how a social security administration can adapt to a particularly challenging environment and continue to provide effective service delivery, resulting in a win-win for the institution and the population groups it serves," said Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, ISSA Secretary General.
The international Jury awarded 12 Certificates of Merit with a Special Mention to the following projects:
Belgium: National Employment Office
Doing More and Better with Less
Croatia: Croatian Pension Insurance Institute
France: Insurance Scheme for the Self-employed
Financial assistance for self-employed contributors in difficulties
France: National Family Allowances Fund
France: National Sickness Insurance Fund for Employees
PRADO – Post-hospitalization Home Return Assistance Programme
Germany: German Social Accident Insurance
Rehabilitation 3.0 - Design and implementation of the new rehabilitation strategy
Germany: German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the foodstuffs and catering industry, part of the German Social Accident Insurance
Weller system: A therapy management model for use by accident insurers
Malta: Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity
Simplifying and streamlining the yearly review process for Children's Allowance and Supplementary Allowance
Republic of Moldova: National Office of Social Insurance
Ensuring access of migrant workers to social security benefits through social security agreements
Poland: Social Insurance Institution
ZUS E-services Platform (PUE) – a modern and comfortable channel of communication
Sweden: Swedish Pensions Agency
The Standard for Pension Projections
Innovative performance monitoring with Sumex DRG Expert
39 Certificates of Merit were also awarded to projects in Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Lithuania, Poland, the Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.