Social return on investment (SROI)

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Social return means creating more employment opportunities for people who are disadvantaged within the labour market. When issuing purchase orders, public procurers can encourage or require contractors to employ vulnerable groups when implementing the contract. Dutch government bodies can implement social return in a variety of ways. There is no overarching national policy on social return.

Social return explained

Organisations that adhere to the principle of social return reach purchasing agreements with contractors concerning the creation of additional jobs, work experience jobs, or internships for people who are disadvantaged within the labour market. These include the long-term unemployed, people who are partially disabled or young people with a disability. By creating additional jobs in this way, the target group can participate according to their ability, making use of extra productivity that would otherwise remain unused. Social return is not intended to supplant existing jobs.

Further details: Social return explained

Getting started with social return

Social return is often implemented in the form of a contract provision. Bidders undertake to spend a given percentage (5% is regarded as the target rate) of a contract's wage bill, for example, on employing people who are disadvantaged within the labour market. Other options include setting special terms and conditions of performance, the inclusion of award criteria, or the reservation of a contract with sheltered employment companies. Many government organisations have formulated their own social return policies. You should always first check whether or not this is the case for your own organisation.

Further details: Getting started with social return