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The WAI in The Netherlands

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 decide to introduce the concept of work ability and the WAI (Work Ability Index) questionnaire and 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.

Implementation of the WAI

Blik op Werk was asked 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.

Tasks of Blik op Werk

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.
  • Sharing and distributing knowledge and experience through learning and 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

The use of the WAI in the Netherlands?

Blik op Werk obtained the exclusive license 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 closes 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 these 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.

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.

More information

Contact us at or call (+31)30- 291 60 25.