An Analytical Overview of Labour Market Reforms Across the EU: Making Sense of the Variation
While there has been an increase in interest in employment protection, for example in the literature on labour market insiders and outsiders, there is a lack of cross-country comparative research on reforms of the employment protection legislation and the regulation of temporary work. This article provides such an overview for a wide set of countries including the EU-15 plus five Central and Eastern European countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. It makes two contributions: first, it identifies a set of reform types. One major reform type, two-tier reform, and several minor types: deregulation of temporary employment in countries with low levels of job protection for regular work; reregulation in countries with high levels of temporary employment; reregulation in countries with low regulation of temporary work; and across-the-board concurrent deregulation. Second, the article highlights the difference in regulation that exists between fixed-term contracts concluded inside and outside temporary work agencies (TWAs). In identifying reform types, and the difference in the regulation of fixed-term contracts inside and outside TWAs, the article contributes to our understanding of the variation in labour market regulation and reform. In addition, the article points to different explanations for the reforms, in particular the influence of EC directives.
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