The municipality of Nijmegen chose for two combination treatments, in which a different approach to re-integration is coupled with the opportunity to earn extra money in addition to the social assistance payment. In the regular regime, people are allowed to keep 25% of the money they earn, up to a maximum of approximately 200 euro per month, for a maximum of six months during their entire social assistance spell. In the experimental treatment, participants are allowed to keep an extra during the entire duration of the experiment (22 months, from 1 December 2017 up to 1 October 2019), they can keep op to 50% of their earnings, up until the same maximum (approx. 200 euro).
1) The first treatment group is allowed to keep extra money from earnings. In addition, all obligations regarding reintegration are cancelled, as are the related fines for non-compliance. Obligations that are cancelled are for example a minimum amount of job applications per week, the obligation to accept any job offer and the obligation to dress in an appropriate way when looking for work. If they want to, participants are allowed to ask for assistance of the local government or the regional re-integration organization in the search for a job.
2) The second treatment group is allowed to keep extra money from earnings. In addition, a special re-integration trajectory has been designed for them. Participation in this trajectory is obligatory. All participants are divided in groups of 10-12 people, who receive a group coaching session every month, for the duration of the experiment. The personal goal of the treatment is set by the participants themselves, and can be either work, part-time work, entrepreneurship or voluntary work. The group coaching is designed to have participants first gain more insight in themselves (situation, wishes and possibilities), and only after that to give them more tools to present themselves (pitching, networking).
3) The third group is the control group. These people applied for the experiment, but were randomized in the group that gets the same treatment as all other people on social assistance.
4) Finally, all people who were eligible to participate but didn’t apply function as reference group on primary outcomes.