Flexicurity and Employment Security: The Dutch Way
ReflecT Research Paper No. 10/001
31 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2010
Date Written: December 1, 2009
Flexicurity represents a concept that aims at enhancing both labour market flexibility and employment and income security. The European Union has picked up this concept in its European Employment Strategy, inspired by developments in a number of its member states. This paper describes the way that flexicurity has developed in the Dutch context. The core of this development can be characterized as the ‘normalisation’ of atypical forms of employment, offering securities to these workers, but without curbing the flexibility in the labour market. Notwithstanding good performance in terms of low unemployment and high labour market participation the Netherlands faces further challenges with regard to flexicurity and security. The second part of the paper focuses on the question how employment security could be best organised in the Dutch labour market. Employment security is defined as the security to get a job and to remain in employment, but not necessarily in the same job with the same employer. Thus, employment security differs from job security. The paper presents and discusses empirical results of a study on arrangements or systems to prevent unemployment for employees who are threatened by redundancy. An analysis is carried out of “job to job” transition arrangements whereby the Netherlands is compared with Sweden. The question is raised whether a systematic approach can be observed in these two countries to warrant new employment opportunities for employees who have been given notice. The different actors and coordination mechanisms involved in these systems are identified. Furthermore, the relevant preconditions for ‘job to job transition systems’ to be successful are fleshed out. The paper concludes with lessons that, from an international perspective, can be learned in shaping employment security as (literally) the security of the future.
Keywords: Flexicurity, employment security, the Netherlands, Sweden
JEL Classification: H5, J5, J6, J65
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation