A recent study on Mitigating Labour Market Dualism explores labour market reforms in eight EU Member States that aim to combat dualism, a concept under which the labour market is split into relatively high-status and secure jobs and lower-status insecure jobs. It finds temporary employment to be an important feature of European labour markets, and although the gender composition of temporary work is quite balanced, low-skilled workers, young people, migrants and workers in low- and medium-skilled service sector occupations are disproportionately affected by temporary employment. The analysis also shows that temporary contracts are often taken up when no permanent job is available. There is also some evidence that transition rates from temporary to permanent work are falling. Proposals to replace the dual system of permanent and fixed-term contracts by a single open-ended contract (SOEC) have been made in Spain, France and Italy, although no country has yet put into place an SOEC.
The report was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee to examine the status of temporary forms of working in Europe, transitions to permanent work and the types of reform options that could help to mitigate labour market dualism. It suggests further assessment and calibration of employment policy, taking into account post-reform experiences; better communication from governments, which could help overcome employers’ reluctance to hire; and that the use of worker-oriented active labour market policies should complement any strategy to tackle segmentation.
The full report can be read here
For more information please contact Andrea Broughton