Comparing British Welfare Systems with 2 Other Countries

Topics: Social security, Welfare, Workfare Pages: 8 (2405 words) Published: November 18, 2012
A 2000 word comparative review of the ways different countries approach welfare, as discussed on the unit.

The aim of this essay is to discuss and compare the British Welfare system with Germany and Sweden’s welfare systems. A welfare system is the structure of welfare provisions and services that provide a specific social need, but it is not only provided or organised solely by the government (Blakemore, 2001). It is a view that is rooted in individual exchanges between five organisations (State/Government, Market/Private Sector, Family/Kin networks, Local Communities and Civil Society). It reflects the history and cultures of different countries around the world (Haralambos, 2012). It is these providers that assume principal responsibilities of how welfare systems are organised and how they are worked for the welfare of its people in matters of health care, education, employment, and social security (Haralambos & Holborn, 2012b).

The essay will focus on Adult Disability benefits and describe which of the main provider delivers disability benefits for the short-term and long term unemployed. The essay will also describe how they work and what patterns of provision is provided for the disabled. Then comparisons will be made on how the British welfare approaches on disability payments are provided and how they work, and I will examine the differences and similarities to each countries welfare system.

The structure of the essay is based on a comparative method systematically designed for equivalences, similarities and shared common features. According to (Landman, 2004) the selection process involves two main types of research designs. Comparing different results across similar countries is known as ‘most similar systems’ and comparing similar outcomes across different countries known as ‘most different systems’. Either way using similarities and differences of different countries is meant to uncover what is common to each country (Landman, 2004, p28). The methodology approach is to select a ‘small –N’ (a few countries) and use the ‘trine’ method of involving three countries (Lewis, 2012). The method identified common features of the British welfare state with that of Germany and Sweden. Classification is a way of grouping common features which are mutual with other countries (Lewis, 2012). All 3 countries have a welfare system for those who have full or permanent disabilities. In order for things to be comparable they have to share certain features like welfare systems and have common features, called equivalences. Most countries have common features such as institutions, policies and services without these common features a comparison cannot be made. The essay will draw on an implicit approach rather than explicit because it is the British welfare system that comparisons are being made.

All countries provide certain benefits for those who have full and permanent disabilities but they differ in the types of benefits they provide. Studies reviewed showed that some countries have changed part or the entire financial burden of short-term benefits from governments onto employers and private organisations. Disability benefits are provided by the state or local governments by all three countries however, in the UK only short term benefits are provided but in Germany and Sweden both short term and time limited benefits are provided for the disabled (Mitra, 2009).

“In the United Kingdom, the disability employment rate has been at 40%” (Huang et al, 2009, p.46). The Liberal state of the United Kingdom faced major crisis of social and economic modernisation at the end of the Second World War. It was David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill who led the drive for what became the National Insurance Act of 1911, which brought in disability insurance. In fact, the reconstruction of welfare in the UK involved a set of relationship between the state, the market and the family (Clarke & Logan,...
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