Q: What is Flexicurity? Explore its meaning, principles and measures and explain what the governments of the European Union are seeking to achieve. Explore the degree to which they have been successful for business and for the workforce with special focus upon young workers.
What is Flexicurity?
Flexicurity is one of the social policies for the EU labour market. It aims to strengthen the flexibility and security for the employee and employer in employment. Wilthagen (1998), defines flexicurity as a move from ‘security within a job’ towards ‘security of a job’ Asada (2011, p249). Flexicurity aims to increase the confidence between employees and the employers during their employment.
According to the European commission, (2012) the common principles of flexicurity were investigated; four key components have been set out in order to guide the European Union towards the implementation of flexicurity. The four components are: Flexible and reliable contractual arrangements, effective labour market policies; comprehensive lifelong learning strategies and modern social security systems. (European Commission, 2012)
How has Flexicurity been implemented?
According to Sarfati., H 2003, p265-282, the Denmark flexicurity called “the Danish magic formula” injected flexicurity into its labour market, while research has suggested that the success of flexicurity, in Denmark was due to a joint effort between companies and employees, in order to create a more successful labour market, it instead became a success through the companies and competition between employees.
In the Denmark labour market, the employer benefits by having the authority to dismiss employees with only short notices provided, which creates more flexibility and adaptability to changes within the labour market. At the same time employees continue to feel confident (rather than feel unstable like the employees in UK), this is all due to high compensation schemes and support from the state, in form of active labour market policies, through unemployment. Policies such as education, childcare and the welfare system to support employees when returning back to employment. (Ilsøe 2007)
Flexicurity improves the trust between the employer and employee as the “security”, helps employees to feel a sense of team work rather than fear internal competition. This method should help the “economy” in many countries as employees, will work and help each other by passing knowledge, that they gain through employment to other employees making problem solving easier, employee development quicker helping increase business, success and help improve the “economy”. Iancu (2011 p.177) “Job security can induce employees to be loyal to the employer, to invest in firm-specific human capital, to co-operate, and to pass over tacit knowledge to other employees because they do not have to fear internal competition. All this increases internal functional flexibility.”
The flexibility within flexicurity should in many companies create “flexible” work, where the people working inside the organization can have a private life, as well as succeed in work life. Examples include employees keeping up with development and training with “flexible” working hours. The environment that employees and employers work in needs to be “flexible” enough so that changing jobs is made simpler. (European Commission 2012)
The second part to flexicurity is “security”, in flexibility employees are flexible to leave work and have access to flexible working hours; however there are also needs to security within jobs in order to prevent employees from feeling insecure, which also supports companies to “adjust their production capacity” without leaving any employee redundant. Examples of support that employees receive are - training and development of their skills and talents. (European Commission 2012)
The “life-long learning” schemes and “modern social security” help create faster method of...
References: Auer, P., (2010) “What’s in a name? The rise (and fall) of flexicurity” 52 (3) 371-386. [online] Available http://jir.sagepub.com. [Accessed: 23.12.2012]
Nesto, Matt., (2012) BMW: The Greatest Car Ever Made Says Top Gear’s Hammond [Available Online] http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/breakout/bmw-greatest-car-ever-made-says-top-gear-140906756.html [Accessed 29.12.2012]
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