Monday, November 29, 2010


IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
Cornell University
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor----------------------
Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Dublin Foundation)

European Monitoring Centre on Change (EMCC)


Extending flexicurity – The potential of short-time working schemes: ERM Report 2010 [23 November 2010]


[full-text, 136 pages]


Author: Mandl, Irene; Storrie, Donald; Hurley, John; Mascherini, Massimiliano; Broughton, Andrea; Owczarzak, Radoslaw; Riso, Sara; Salvatore, Lidia


Summary: In the face of recession, falling demand and the consequent slowing of production, short-time working and temporary layoff schemes have been extended (or introduced) in many Member States. These schemes, often with the aid of public funds, reduce working time, while protecting workers' incomes and company solvency; frequently, the time spent not working is used for training instead. This report examines the practice of reduced working time across Europe, and looks in detail at how it is implemented in 10 Member States, with a view to determining the contribution that such schemes can make in implementing the common principles of flexicurity, especially in light of the broad-based consensus they enjoy among the social partners. An executive summary is available. 



Foreword v

Executive summary 1

Introduction 5

Chapter 1: EU labour markets during the crisis: fewer workers work ing shorter hours 13

Background 13

Employment data by country and region 15

Employment data by sector 18

Restructuring during the downturn: the European Restructuring Monitor 25

Overview of restructuring cases 26

Large-scale restructuring by sector 26

Restructuring by case size 30

Restructuring by country and restructuring type 31

Labour input reductions: working time and headcount adjustments 35

Economic short-time work in Europe 36

Determinants of becoming an ESTW 42

Traditional cluster 42

Unconventional cluster 43

Hybrid cluster 44

Conclusions 45

Chapter 2: Flexicurity in Europe 47

Concept of flexicurity 47

Examples of flexicurity practices in Europe 48

Flexicurity and the recession 53

European social partners' perspectives on flexicurity 54

Impact of the crisis 56

Chapter 3: Public support instruments for short-time working and temporary layoff 59

Setup of the instruments 60

Working time reduction and income security 63

Social security and training 65

Chapter 4: Reflections on public schemes 67

Availability and usability 67

Role of social partners 70

Eligibility criteria 71

Eligible employers 73

Eligible workers 73

Social security and dismissal protection 74

Training 75

Chapter 5: Conclusions and policy pointers 77

Short-time working/temporary layoff and flexicurity 77

The relevance of short-time working and temporary layoff schemes 79

Guidelines and elements of good practice 81

Institutional and administrative aspects 81

Eligible companies 83

Eligible workers 85

Wage compensation and income security 85

Social security 86

Maintaining employment levels 86

Meaningful use of hours not worked 87

Bibliography 89

Annex 1: Methodological approach 93

Annex 2: National short-time working and temporary layoff support instruments 102


This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

Stuart Basefsky                   
Director, IWS News Bureau                
Institute for Workplace Studies 
Cornell/ILR School                        
16 E. 34th Street, 4th Floor             
New York, NY 10016                        
Telephone: (607) 255-2703                
Fax: (607) 255-9641                       



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