Business flexicurity and the new Europe

| May 25, 2015

Introduction

Flexicurity is an integrated strategy for enhancing flexibility and security in the labour market by reconciling employers’ need for a flexible workforce with workers’ need for security in order to build confidence that they will not come across long periods of unemployment according to (Sultana, 2013). In order to advance this, the European Union has come up with four components that will help pursue the principle namely; flexible and reliable contractual arrangements, comprehensive lifelong learning strategies, effective active labour market policies and modern social security systems. It covers securities such as job, employment, income, working time, working time and functional flexibilities. This concept originated from Netherlands in the 1990s due to restrictive system for dismissal of permanent employees hence there was need to provide job security. It has been subsequently applied to many countries in the world among them Denmark, Sweden and Germany but Denmark has stood out from the rest and leaves a lot of lessons that can be applied (Jianping 2008).

Denmark has been a great proponent of this and in 1999 it focused on this agenda in order to correct this imbalance between an inflexible labour market for core workers and an insecure labour market situation for the contingency workforce hence giving the workers the security they needed, however it is vital to note that it was not the result of a well-defined grand scheme, but the outcome of a long historical development with strong elements of path-dependency. Even though it has been seen as a political strategy in Denmark it has led to a benefit for both the employers and the employees.  It was clearly implement such that the word flexibility has been seen as a definition for Denmark’s labour market instead of a general attempt in various countries to strike the right balance between flexibility and security due to the fact that it is a prime example of a labour market with a well-functioning flexicurity arrangement (Burroni & Keune 2011).

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