Business, Flexicurity, and the New Europe

BUSINESS, Flexicurity and  THE NEW EUROPE.

Referral / Deferral Questions 2017

Please submit an essay of 1800 words one of the following questions.

Chose the question for the course work that you need to resubmit.

1. The European flexicurity pathways and principles are understood to be a response to globalisation and the free market economy – discuss in relation to the labour market and work practice in the UK.

2. Outline the principles of flexicurity and give examples of both the successes and limitations of the implementation of these measures in the EU country of your choice.  Outlining the countries labour market, what are the main threats to the labour market in your chosen country?

3. Select one topic from each list below and explain how these issues are addressed within the principles and pathways of EU flexicurity, give examples from the UK and comparison EU countries to support your discussion.

List A

  • Dependent self employment
  • Atypical work arrangements (zero hours contracts)
  • Undeclared work (cleaning, courier work, etc)

List B

  • Active Labour Market Policies
  • Modern social protection systems
  • State subsidised Child care provision.

In the current economic system, unemployment and job security are key challenges to a significant section of the working population. Many people are unable to secure jobs, though they are trained and skilled in different fields. Employers are selective about the type of people they hire or recruit. Also, the labor market is characterized by high competition since the number of qualified job-seekers exceeds the number of job opportunities available in the industry. Others who have been lucky to secure a job are also threatened due to their failure to get a high guarantee on their job security. Every day companies lay off workers owing to financial constraints or the adoption of new and more efficient forms of technology that requires only a few workers to operate (Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies 2010). As a result, cases of protests by workers all over the world are rising, arguing that the current labor market is not worker sensitive, as many employers unknowingly or knowingly violate the terms of their employment. To counter this and ensure a healthy labor market, many countries in Europe adopted flexicurity. It is a system that was began by the Prime Minister of Denmark in the 1990s and has been in operation over the years (Andersen and Svarer 2007, p. 4). The paper outlines the principles of flexicurity and gives the successes and limitations of the implementation of these principles. It also discusses the threats in a selected country’s labor market.

Principles of Flexicurity

Flexicurity is an integrated strategy that is used to enhance adaptability, and at the same time provide security and flexibility within the labor market (Wilthagen and Tros 2004, p. 168). Its primary objective is to reconcile the employer’s need for a flexible and skilled workforce while at the same time ensuring job security to the employees (Wilthagen and Tros 2004, p. 168). It thus creates confidence in the labor market to both employers and employees. By working with the social partners, national governments and academic partners, the European Union has identified four main principles of flexicurity that can be applied by member countries to ensure a healthy and productive labor market (Wilthagen and Tros 2004, p. 168). The policies include;

First is the adoption of the modern social security system by employers. Various job positions, especially those in productions and manufacturing companies exposes workers to different types of risks (Madsen 2003, p. 1). As an employment benefit, employees are entitled to benefits provided by the modern social security system. The benefits include sickness, disability, death, funeral, maternity and retirements among others (Madsen 2003, p. 1). It is essential to ensure that these benefits are available to all the workers irrespective of their job groups. Workers should also understand the benefits so that it becomes easy for them to request or fight for them in case the employer is reluctant or is not willing to provide them (Madsen 2003, p. 1). They are excellent benefits that encourage the workers to provide excellent services to the company…

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