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Myth and reality of labour flexibility in India

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  • Ravi S. Srivastava

    () (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Abstract

Abstract An analysis of recent employment trends shows a systematic and massive increase in labour flexibility in India’s organised sector. Firms have achieved increased flexibility not only by employing more of temporary and contract labour but also by making the regular workforce more flexible and reducing the role of labour unions and collective bargaining– thereby achieving “in-fact” informality/flexibility – and by outsourcing, and subcontracting down the value chain. Employer strategies have adapted existing informal social institutions and the legal framework to achieve their goals. How can the quest for a reasonable degree of flexibility be subordinated to labour rights and core labour standards? We argue that the answer lies not in the supposed legal constraints on flexibility in the organised sector but also in addressing infirmities in the Indian labour market as a whole.

Suggested Citation

  • Ravi S. Srivastava, 2016. "Myth and reality of labour flexibility in India," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 59(1), pages 1-38, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ijlaec:v:59:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s41027-016-0048-x
    DOI: 10.1007/s41027-016-0048-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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