European labour markets have become more flexible over the past two to three decades - but to varying degrees in different countries. Tecent labour market developments include the so-called “renaissance of self-employment”, an increase in the gig economy and the emergence of “clickworking”. These developments are accompanied by “multiple”, “plural” or “hybrid” forms of employment. The focus of the project is the analysis of the structure and development of hybrid employment in a country comparison, the necessary labour, social and collective support of this development as well as the question of the organisation and interest representation of the employed persons concerned.
Self-employment can be found in quite different occupations and sectors: The new self-employed without personnel are coaches, public relations officers, interim managers, bricklayers, or home care workers. Many appreciate their position, some feel forced and find it hard to make a proper living. How do they deal with their insecure position? And how do they prepare for the future? Together with Wieteke Conen and Joop Schippers (University of Utrecht), Karin Schulze Buschoff (WSI) investigates advantages and risks of solo-selfemployment in Germany and the Netherlands.
The WSI’s "Non-standard Employment" regional database makes data on non-standard employment available for every urban and rural district in Germany. It offers a swift overview on the development since 2003 with evaluations in tables and graphics. more... (in German language)
Labour law regulations and the national insurance systems for self-employed, secondary jobs and marginal part-time employment in the UK: Regulations are complex and confusing and impede take-up. Lack of transparency and weak enforcement hits vulnerable workers the most. The new study by Jacqueline O' Reilly and Christine Lewis is part of the WSI research project "Hybrid working arrangements in Europe”.
A new study on Danish social protection for atypical employment summarizes the main regulations and trends. Mikkel Mailand and Tine P. Larsen (University of Copenhagen) find that benefits are increasingly depend on employment status and on collective bargaining coverage. A further trend, which is mainly seen from the beginning of the present decade, is towards stricter entitlement rules and other barriers to benefits. The study is part of the WSI research project on "Hybrid working arrangements in Europe”.
Labour migration from EU countries to Germany has increasingly been characterised by atypical forms of mobility: posting of workers, self-employment and seasonal workers. Bettina Wagner and Anke Hassel investigate changes in intra-EU labour mobility, analyze the effects on labour market segmentation and fragmentation, and discuss the various responses by the government by the extension of collective agreements and the statutory minimum wage.
The Hartz-Reforms as an example for activation policy are often seen as a major factor of the German labour market boost. While doubts about this effect are growing, a recent study has shown an overproportional increase of in-work poverty in Germany. On the other hand, countries with high expenditures for active labour market policies reduce the in-work poverty risk.
The study presents an overview on solo self-employment in Germany and the Netherlands, examining labour market characteristics and social security provisions in the two countries. The authors draw on results from desk research, survey research and interviews with self-employed without personnel. What is the legal and institutional position of self-employed without personnel? What are the motives to become self-employed? The report also provides information on earnings, working hours, balance between work and family life, labour market opportunities, satisfaction, stability and security, future prospects, pensions and representation.
In 2015, the number of registered asylum applications in Germany for the the first time exceeded the 1993 records. Refugee immigration is both a chance and a challenge for Germany. Jutta Höhne (WSI) summarizes available data on refugees and their integration prospects.
A comparison of log hourly personal income of 1.5th and 2nd generation Spätaussiedler and persons of Turkish origin with that of native Germans shows that poorly qualified persons of Turkish origin experience income advantages; they frequently work in jobs for which they are underqualified.
Atypical forms of employment are also widespread in the public sector but are all in all less precarious than in the private sector. In the public sector, the percentage of low-wage earners is considerably lower than in the private one, as the coverage rates of collective agreement (at over 90 per cent) are high. Moreover, employees with atypical forms of employment have better opportunities for further training in the public than in the private sector.
This study focuses on describing and analyzing the concrete initiatives taken by trade unions and employers to combat precarious employment in construction, commercial cleaning, hospitals and temporary agency work. It is based on an evaluation of recent data, research literature and policy documents as well as a number of interviews with experts from all four sectors. The study is also part of a wider European project called Bargaining for Social Rights at Sector Level (BARSORIS) which include studies from seven European countries (Denmark, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain and the UK).
Thorsten Schulten and Reinhard Bispinck discuss long-term trends in German collective bargaining and its implications for the overall economic development.
Whether the use of flexible workers is damaging to innovation or not depends on the dominant innovation regime in a sector. Alfred Kleinknecht (WSI), Flore N. van Schaik and Haibo Zhou show that in sectors with a ‘routinised’ innovation regime, high shares of low-paid temporary workers have a negative impact on the probability that firms invest in R&D. In sectors that tend towards a ‘garage business’ regime, however, flexibility has no impact. more...
Dr. Nadine Zeibig (WSI) shows that ECJ jurisdiction has a strong impact on German labour law: Several age-related rules, which for years were seen as socially acceptable and proportionate, have been classified by the ECJ as inadmissible age discrimination. As ECJ rulings in the field are inconsistent, negotiation and creation of age-related provisions get increasingly difficult due to lack of legal certainty.
Blank, Florian, and Schulze Buschoff, Karin (eds.), 2011: European Labour Market Policies after the Lisbon Process – Results and Consequences. German Policy Studies, Special Issue 7(1). more... (pdf)