1. Introduction: Flexicurity in Employment
This report seeks to answer several basic questions concerning the employment situation in the Netherlands. The focus is on flexicurity, in other words the combination of secure and flexible employment from a lifetime perspective. Ultimately, secure employment comes down to employability, to a worker's employability throughout her career, whether she works for one employer or for more than one. A single career may span many employers and many functions and jobs, according to the preferences of workers and companies. Flexibility seeks to adapt employment to the needs of the employing organisation, and thus to provide three key elements: employability for the employee; adaptive employment for the company or organisation; a system of social security enabling the employee to make the required transitions. Employability requires training and development, work of a quality to improve the skills of the employee, and a balanced combination of work, care and leisure, enabling the employee to maintain continuous participation in both work and other areas of life. From this perspective social security should not merely make work pay, it should also make transitions pay, whether these are from one job to another, one employer to another, one level of skill to another or from one combination of work and care to another. (1) Rather than funding only the mostly involuntary move from employment into unemployment, social security should contribute to the voluntary changes required to combine work and care, work and education and work and a phased transition to retirement. These, we believe, are fundamental to the integration of employment into a design of social quality.
At present, we have hardly begun to perceive, let alone institute, the many and massive changes required. Such changes demand a major reworking of social security arrangements--including their accessibility--while at the same time highlighting new divisions and nuances in the occurrence, predictability, and distribution of risks and responsibilities. In the context of the former, pensions are of particular importance, as is the introduction of new labour-market measures and forms of leave; where the latter are concerned, particular attention must be paid to the definition and financing of 'social drawing rights' (Supiot, 2000) and the ultimate responsibility for the maintenance of such rights. Here, again, pensions are central (they could be used as both funds and collateral), as is the form in which claims might be effected (such as vouchers, tax advantages, or a one-off grant) (Ackerman and Alstott, 1999) and the division of responsibilities between public, collective and private bodies (Dworkin, 2000). Such changes would require new social provision (such as childcare and new forms of leave for care and training) and new forms of social dialogue and cooperation between the interested parties, notably at local and regional levels. Lastly, they require time: for learning, experimentation and to gain force and credibility along the way.
This is a vast terrain, of which we have only begun to chart a small part. The emphasis in this paper is on the position of employees. We want to understand what employees are facing in terms of the flexibility of their employment relations and working time arrangements, how they differ in their rate and level of participation and the extent to which their careers are --or not as the case may be--supported by income and care provision. Restricted as it is, flexicurity is a new concept here in its insistence on the combination of income and care.
We shall proceed as follows: each section deals with a basic question, which will then be answered, at least insofar as the data allow. The first question relates to the development of participation and (un-) employment in the past few years (section 2). The following issue concerns employees' opportunities for regular, part-time and flexible employment relationships (section 3). We then consider opportunities for standard and non-standard working hours (section 4). In section 5 the emphasis shifts to income in employment: what happens in the case of unemployment and what is the nexus of benefits and the minimum wage? We end with a question addressing the ways in which employees manage to combine work with education and care (section 6).
2. Employment and Participation
How have employment and participation developed in the Netherlands at the end of the 1990s through 2000? (2) The Dutch employment record in the period since the mid-1990s looked promising. Employment has grown, as has the supply of (female) labour, and unemployment has fallen. As a consequence the (gross and net) rates of participation have increased.
Participation and unemployment are also influenced by type and level of education and by age, as shown in Table 2. This table shows that the levels of participation and education roughly match. We can also see that the highest participation rates are in the age categories 25-44. These are the years in which families are formed, careers have to be made, expenditure is high, and children are born and grow up (the 'rush hour' of life as they say in the Netherlands). The years which are the most demanding in terms of work are at the same time the most demanding in terms of care, leading to severe, and at times excessive, demands on time. This is a problem in itself, and it is further aggravated by the limited career opportunities of part-timers (Baaijens, 1999: 6-18; SCP, 1998). As the future seems likely to bring greater female participation and, by the same token, more part-time jobs this, in combination with rising female educational credentials, will lead to increasing pressure on careers.
These data (3) reveal some important trends. Of particular note is the swift increase in the rate of participation, particularly for women, and in particular in part-time employment. The Dutch rate is now well above the European average and there are no signs that its growth is tailing off. The participation rate for men is on the increase as well, mainly because efforts to curb early retirement are paying off. Here, again, the Dutch score is above the (declining) European average.
On the other hand, the unemployment rate is twice as high among women as among men. The metaphor of the 'rush hour' is confirmed if we add a few more data on participation, sex and age, and participation, sex and education (Table 3 presents net figures only as the developments in gross and net rates run parallel).
We see an overall sharp rise in labour force participation by women, with a peak in the age category 25-34 and, compared to this category
and the relevant male age categories, a still significantly lower participation for age 35 and over. This is presumably a generational effect rather than simply a cohort effect. We may therefore expect a continuing rise in female labour participation, particularly in age categories 35+. This rise, moreover, will be strengthened rather than weakened by the effects of education. For here too, education influences participation, and the female level of education is on its way to outstripping the male. More precisely, the youngest female age category is better educated than its male counterpart, there is a balance in the 25-34 category, a small male advantage in the 35-44 category and a greater male advantage in the 45-54 category (see Table 4). Again, this is a generational rather than cohort effect. Female participation in the labour market is destined to grow.
The younger women are, the more they equal and indeed surpass the educational level of their male counterparts. The expectation that the rising educational level of women will impact favourably on their participation in the labour force is further corroborated by the existing data on the influence of education on the incidence of labour participation.
The conclusions we can draw from this table are twofold. One is that higher educational levels lead to higher rates of participation; the other is that, for both men and women, higher education leads to very high rates of participation. The gap between men and women here has nearly disappeared. Having children has some effect on participation, but the general pattern remains unchanged: men participate more than women, but women are catching up, and more so where their educational level is higher (see Table 6).
The results of this table are interesting for several reasons. Firstly they corroborate the relationship between a child's age and the rate of female participation: the younger the child, the lesser the degree of participation. Secondly, it shows that the changes are occurring very fast. Between 1992 and 1997 the overall rate of participation of women with children increased considerably. Thirdly, the table shows that having children impacts on the rate of participation of less educated women much more than on that of their more highly-educated sisters.
Overall, then, the active population is growing, and will continue to do so for at least the present decade. The main reason is that the participation of women is still on the rise and outweighs the greying of the population as a whole. The latter influence will presumably not gain ascendancy over the former until the next decade. It is likely that in the future there will be more women in the labour market and more women with full-time or at least sizeable part-time jobs. One predictable corollary of this trend is that pressure on the provision of childcare and forms of care leave is bound to increase, adding new strains to an already tight labour market. Nor is this all. The new labour market is not about employment so much as employability. So continued education and training will be on the agenda alongside childcare and leave.
3. The Employment Relation: Regular, Part-time, Flexible
The employment relationship is enshrined in law and we should therefore consider the legal requirements needed for a working relationship to qualify as an employment relationship. This is important, not merely to gain insight into the rights and duties of employers and employees, but also because an employment relationship determines access to and claims on social security.
The legal description of the employment relationship (4) contains several essential elements. The first is the payment of wages: if no wages need to be paid there is no employment relationship. The second is the obligation on the employee to personally perform a task (even if this amounts to no more than sitting in a dug-out). If an employee can be replaced by somebody else, it is no longer possible to speak of an employment relationship. The third element is that the job must be performed 'in the service' of the employer, meaning that the employer is authorised to instruct and supervise the employee (Bakels, 2000: 50-54). The combination of the second and third elements suffices to conceptualise the employment relationship as a relationship of authority, or (in the strong phrasing of John Commons) as a 'promise to obey commands' (Commons, 1995: 284). In graphic terms, an employment relationship can be summarised as shown in Figure 1.
This table, derived from Simon (1957) and Streeck (1992), makes the trade-off between flexibility and security explicit. For the employee, security is a matter of rights, for the employer a matter of duties. Flexibility, for the employee, is a matter of duties, and for the employer a matter of rights. The employee's rights are duly specified in law, the employer's rights, by contrast, are left unspecified. The security element is described in law: it specifies the payment of wages, the number of hours and the limits and payment of overtime, vacations and other legitimate forms of absence, and the mode of ending the relationship. The flexibility element, on the other hand, is not described in law, but merely hinted at, defining the employment relationship as an 'incomplete contract'. (5) It enables the employer to adapt the workforce to the incoming flow of work by distributing tasks as the need arises and assigning employees to these tasks, again as the need arises, in other words there is no need to specify jobs in advance. In that sense, the contract is incomplete, and the relationship enables flexibility to the extent (6) that it is incomplete. Also, the employer's right to monitor employees is legally granted but, at the same time and for the same reasons of adaptation to ever-changing and not readily predictable circumstances, the employer is free to choose the means deemed most appropriate for the purpose at hand.
Traditionally, then, security in the employment relationship manifested itself through the clarity of the terms of employment, while flexibility manifested itself in the managerial prerogative to divide and assign the flow of work. Security answered the employee's need for predictability, flexibility answered the employer's need to cope with uncertainty and risk. However, both were based on certain assumptions, which have now drastically altered: the predictability of the course of life has greatly diminished and its format changed, while uncertainty for companies has increased. Predictability therefore has to be reconstructed on a new footing (keyword: lifetime perspective), while the growth of uncertainty leads to a new division of risks and responsibilities between employers and employees (keyword: employability).
Taken together the new needs to design security arrangements from a lifetime perspective and, at the same time, to turn flexibility into employability, signal an important trend in the field of labour law. (7) Whether this is going to lead to a new 'legal order for labour' (van der Heijden, 1999) is an open question. However, the shift towards 'reflexive labour law' (Rogowski and Wilthagen, 1994) is unmistakable, bringing, in its wake, a weakening of the pivotal position of the employment relationship in favour of a participation relationship that combines a lifetime perspective (including a system of social security geared to the need to make transitions pay) (Schmid, 2001) with an emphasis on employability.
The traditional employment relationship was, as Figure 1 shows, a relationship in which the employing and work organisations coincided. Employer and boss were members of the same organisation; indeed, they could be one and the same person. The new employment relationship, on the other hand, may well overflow the boundaries of one organisation and indeed may typically involve two organisations or more. Two is easiest to grasp: in this case the employing organisation (say an agency like Randstad) and the work organisation are distinct and are connected through markets rather than hierarchies.
The coining of the neologism 'flexicurity' (Wilthagen, 1998) in this context is quite understandable. The concept certainly does not denote that the trade-off between flexibility and security is a thing of the past. What it does denote is a new format for contractual arrangements in which, although the employment relationship will of course not disappear, it no longer occupies centre stage. Participation, its transitions and its durability, will forge new relationships, some of which will have to be constructed outside the traditional employment relationship. The new format will have to accommodate individualised arrangements for combining work and care on the one hand and stimulating employability on the other, both from a lifetime perspective. Separately and combined these extend beyond the traditional one-to-one relationship of employer and employee, if only in order to prevent the subjugation of social drawing rights to 'company interest', or, more to the point, the subjugation of transition interests to work interests. At a more mundane level, however, we also find indications that the employing organisation and the work organisation can be separate. A graphic representation may illustrate the point.
Figure 2 is a simple reworking of Figure 1. It spells out the relation as we know it: the employer hires the worker and puts her to work as needed. The employee promises to obey commands and receives a wage in return. The employing organisation and the work organisation are in the same hands. In Figure 3, on the other hand, the situation has fundamentally changed, for the employing organisation and the work organisation are now separate. What we see here is that the employing organisation lends its own employees. The employee, then, remains an employee of the lending organisation and is a temporary worker in the borrowing organisation, the actual place of work. To put it succinctly: your employer is not your boss. Private employment agencies fit this type of employment relationship, of course, but the phenomenon is not confined to such agencies alone. At the level of branches and sectors we see the same developments, whether through organisations pooling workers, or posting them, or in other mechanisms that cut the direct connection between the employer and the work environment. Data on the number of people processed by employment agencies only partially capture all these movements, and therefore underestimate the actual magnitude of the relevant transfers and transitions.
[FIGURES 2-3 OMITTED]
So, even if the temp-agency is the classic instance, it does not stop there. Other forms of labour exchange (pools, the posting and borrowing of staff, etc.) are also important. In all these instances we find that the employing and work organisation tend to become distinct entities, connected through markets and contracts, instead of hierarchy and authority. Nor is this type of flexible employment relationship limited to relatively unskilled workers or to new entrants to the labour market. For training purposes, for example, but also for purposes of recruitment and selection, flexible relationships in which the employing organisation may serve a series of client organisations, for example in a branch or sector as a whole, may prove expedient. There are many branch and sectoral funds for training purposes, often geared to a collective bargaining agreement; sometimes these funds become the subject of a so-called specific collective bargaining agreement. In the case of recruitment and selection it often turns out that the demand for labour is more easily predictable at the sectoral level than at the level of individual companies within the sector. Given that not all companies will need labour at the same time, this provides a rationale for pooling resources and even for creating a specialised employing organisation, distributing and allocating labour across the member companies. Employing organisations of this kind may, of course, also try to extend their fields of operation into the realm of training and education. Indeed they are doing so.
The organisational dissociation (8) of employment and work has advantages of scale and scope. The advantages of scale are obvious, particularly in circumstances where labour demand is subject to shifts that are hard to predict at company level. What may prove hardly manageable at company level may be easy to anticipate at the higher level of aggregate demand. Yet the scope advantages may in the end prove of even more significant. Employment is an information-intensive industry and problems of information impactedness--including problems of agency, moral hazard and hold-up--are never far away. Forms of consultation, including collective negotiations, represent one option for tackling such problems, specialised agencies are another. The need for such agencies is on the rise, if only for reasons of lifetime employability as opposed to lifetime employment. The question of how far agencies of this kind are the appropriate bodies to organise employability, an activity that they themselves do not eschew, (9) is a matter of speculation. They will carry out searches, for both companies and employees, and seek to match demand to supply, with training and education explicitly included. Our projection is that arrangements combining work and care will often be made above company level, thereby enlarging the market for intermediary organisations and mechanisms. The scope of such agencies, in the form that we know them, is indeed widening. Private employment agencies, for example, initially restricted their activities to the provision of temporary workers; today their activities include posting and recruitment, not to mention selection, training, reintegration and other tasks in the field of human resource management. (10) Labour pools do likewise, as do public employment services. Of course, there is no uniform trend in the identity of employing organisations: there is, as yet, only a blend of formats that are hard to categorise, rather than the clear, unequivocal emergence of a new format and the consequent waning of the old one. (11)
In this connection it is worth taking a closer look at the relatively new Flexibility and Security Act, which came into force in the Netherlands on 1 January 1999. This follows, almost to the letter, the unanimous advice of the Dutch Labour Foundation, (12) the very unanimity of which was one important reason for the government to honour this advice in toto. The Act's objective is to contribute to a new balance in the labour market, characterised by the mutual enhancement of company flexibility (read: adaptability) and employee security (read: contractual clarity). The Act includes clauses on employment agencies and forms of labour exchange such as pools and the lending, borrowing and posting of workers, provided these are the activities of agencies whose major function is to act as intermediaries in the labour market.
Employment agencies, in the broad sense indicated above, are assumed to be employers. That their employees are assumed never to perform any work within the boundaries of their employing organisation is of no consequence. Or rather, in order to eradicate any confusion as to the legal status of the workers involved, the agency is now legally held to be an employer. Employment organisations and employers generally also have the 'burden of proof' in cases where the exact nature of the relationship (13) and the number of hours involved are in doubt. The security of employees, in particular of employees in temporary relationships, is also strengthened in other ways, the most important being clauses banning the 'revolving door' mechanism of an endless chain of temporary, fixed-term contracts. These gains in employee security are matched by gains in organisational adaptability. Dismissal procedures have become somewhat more lenient--and notably faster--in the Netherlands (14) and, of course, the phenomenon of the private employment agency as such is no longer a legal exception to the state monopoly on the provision of labour, but is formally recognised as a regular enterprise. An important corollary is that former constraints on the maximum length of the temporary relationship have been lifted (Wilthagen, 2000:119, fig. 2).
The Flexibility and Security Act is an uneasy combination of old and new. Old is the simple fact that flexibility is taken to be the prime focus for the employer, with security as the prime focus of the employee. In terms of employability such a view is limited at best. New, on the other hand, is the regularisation of the flexible employment relation as such, including the regularisation of private employment agencies. In other words, the Act does not prejudice any specific patterning of employment relationships. It recognises that both two- and three-way employment relationships are viable, that flexibility and security are interdependent, and that three-way relationships, if they are to continue to flourish, need an adequate match of flexibility with security.
The 'spirit' of the Act matters, as it impinges on the interests of a growing number of employers and employees. If we limit ourselves to what is usually called 'external numerical flexibility', (15) the developments point to a steady and overall somewhat expanding share of this type of flexibility (table 7).
The proportion of flexible employment relations thus rose during the 1990s, although at the end of the decade this growth came to a halt. The reason most often quoted in this respect is that the tightness of the labour market has forced employers to try and retain their employees, for which purpose, obviously, a flexible relationship is not best suited. It is not unwarranted to suppose that, once the labour market loosens up, the external flexible share will return to a level of around 10 percent. That, in itself, is sizeable enough, but its importance becomes even greater if we consider the situation of part-time workers.
The Netherlands scores high on part-time work. Table 8 compares net rates of participation and the proportion of part-time work in several European countries. As different data have been used, and as these data are not readly comparable to the Dutch data below, the figures are of illustrative use only. Nevertheless, they do indicate large differences in the incidence of part-time work.
The Netherlands takes first place for the part-time employment of both men and women. The large proportion of female part-timers is particularly noteworthy, reflecting the typical Dutch compromise for working women and the balance they are assumed to strike between working and caring. (16) Developments over the past few years are depicted in Table 9. This table clearly shows the growth in part-time work. Small jobs (up to 20 hours per week) grew very swiftly compared to full-time jobs, but so did larger part-time jobs. Most women hold jobs within this category: in 1998, 43 percent of all working women worked between twenty and thirty-four hours per week. Most part-time work is performed by women. Six out of every ten working women work part-time, compared to just over one man in ten. With the growth of female participation, in conjunction with rising educational credentials and the need to combine work and care, a further growth, in the larger part-time jobs in particular, is to be predicted. This will most probably impinge on flexible employment as well, if only for the simple reason that flexible employment relations are far more common for part-timers than for full-timers (Schippers et al., 2001: 26-7, Table 2.5). (17) The other aspects dealt with in this section will make their own contribution to the complexities of finding a workable and fair balance of security with flexibility. However, if the further growth of part-time employment is reflected in a further growth of flexible employment, the true test of the balance of flexibility and security may be yet to come.
4. Time and Working Hours
Legally the maximum number of work hours per week is fixed at forty-five hours, excluding overtime, and forty-eight hours including overtime. (18) The normal length of the working week, established in collective bargaining agreements, is lower: 36-40 hours (SCP, 2000: 197; OECD, 1998: 168). The actual length of the working week deviates considerably from these figures, as shown in Table 10.
The average working week in the Netherlands is comparatively short, with the greatest gaps appearing in the length of female working hours. A more complete picture arises once we include the average number of hours for part-time work, compared with full-time hours.
The average part-time female works just under 20 hours per week, while her male counterpart works around three full-time days, if employed part-time. In view of the very high incidence of part-time female employment, it is no surprise that the average working week in the Netherlands as a whole contains comparatively few hours. Calculations on a yearly basis provide a similar result, with the lowest score again going to the Netherlands (SCP, 2000: 195, Table 7.3).
An important issue in the European 'adaptability' pillar, alongside flexibility in employment protection legislation, is flexibility in working time. Indices for this are the (movement in the) irregularity of working hours and, of course, the use of overtime. Table 12 gives some information concerning the former.
There has been a substantial growth in irregular working hours, due mainly to more people working in the evening. The Netherlands is certainly still a long way from being a 24-hour economy; however, the relaxation of, for example, shop opening hours has made a change.
Many employers, when faced with extra demand, prefer to use overtime rather than hire new workers. As the economy flourished in the second half of the 1990s, an increased use of overtime was to be predicted, and indeed occurred: the average number of overtime hours worked per week went from 3hours in 1996 (of which 40 percent were paid) to 3 hours and 20 minutes in 1998 (of which 46 percent were paid) (Fouage et al., 1999). This is a sizeable increase (more than 10 percent) in just two years. Also noteworthy is the fact that more than half of this overtime goes unpaid. Not all employees work overtime, but about half do. In 1998, for example, the proportion of employees concerned was 49 percent.
A different, yet related, issue is the control employees have over their working time. Some data on this important question are provided by the 2000 survey on working conditions (Paoli and Merlie, 2001) although not all of them are available at country (as opposed to EU15) level. One important question--phrased as a statement--in the survey concerns the influence of employees over their working time (question 26.4: 'you can influence your working hours'). Table 13 presents the figures.
This question was new in 2000, so no comparison with earlier years is possible. The same is not true of the questions concerning employees' ability to take a break when they want to (question 26.2), or to choose the timing of holiday breaks (question 26.3). Here, although a comparison with the report for 1995 is possible, there is no breakdown by country. The EU average is given in a summary table on control at work, reproduced in part in Table 14.
The data for the Netherlands are limited to the possibility of choosing one's own period of leave (holiday). Dutch workers score favourably here: just over six out of ten workers have such possibilities (Ministerle van SZW/CBS, 2001: 27, Table 3.5). In earlier reports a question was included (for non-shift workers) on whether employees could influence the start and finish times of their working day (the question was: 'Do you have fixed times for starting and stopping your work every day?'). This question is similar, though certainly not identical, to the present question 26.4, as illustrated by the results for 1995. Overall, just under eight out of ten workers in the EU had such fixed times, in the Netherlands seven out of ten (SCP, 2000: 217, Table 7.11).
These figures are difficult to read. The above indicates that there is certainly plenty of control over employees' time. Yet, if we compare these outcomes with data on opportunities for workers to control the speed of their work and with data on tight deadlines, we may obtain a more realistic picture. Again, not all the data are country specific, though those for working at high speed continuously are. Indeed, one out of every four EU 15 workers reports working at high speed continuously and, in 2000, 55 percent of workers worked at high speed for at least a quarter of their time. In the Netherlands, one in three workers works continuously under this kind of pressure. (19) The results are broadly the same for working to tight deadlines, although here country ratings are lacking. Almost three out of ten workers are continuously confronted with tight deadlines, and six out of ten are confronted with tight deadlines for at least a quarter of their time.
Box I We would like to know ... What one would like to know, of course, is the score on the balance of high speed and deadlines on the one hand and control over time on the other. (20) For the former, an index to this effect has been constructed, taking the numerical average of the percentage of high speeders and the percentage of tight deadliners. For 2000 the EU index number is (for those having to deal with these constraints for at least a quarter of their time) 58. For the category of people facing these constraints more or less continuously the index number was 26 in 2000. The comparable figures for 1995 are 55 and 27. Pace demands have thus increased in a few years. The latter can be compared with earlier data, at least for the Netherlands: we then find an index number of 30 for 1995 (Ministerie van SZW, 2000: 85). The other half of the balance is even harder to substantiate. We do have some data on the opportunities for workers to take a break on their own initiative (country and EU figures for 1995; EU figures only for 2000) and the EU figures and country and EU figures on influencing working hours, for 2000 only. (21) Taking the numerical average of opportunities to control the speed of work (question 25.3) and to take a break as a proxy for control over time, we would get an index number for 1995 of 65, and 69 for 2000. Control over time thus decreased and the balance was worse in 2000 than in 1995. Taking constraints pertaining to one fourth or more of time, in 1995 the balance was --7 for control and, in 2000, --14 for control.
Of course our arithmetic is crude, to put it mildly. But crudity is not the same as meaninglessness, particularly where time is among the ultimate units of account in the employment relationship. More detailed, longitudinal and comparable data are badly needed. What we have presented in this section is a skeleton, and not even a complete one at that.
5. Minimum Wages, Unemployment and Disability, and Welfare
Though it is not true that we are only in it for the money--as the Mothers of Invention once had it--wages are nevertheless among the more prominent aspects of the employment relationship. Indeed, as we saw above, wages are a defining element of the employment relationship.
The question is, what happens in the case of unemployment or disability? In order to answer this question we first need data on the minimum wage, since most transfer payments are a percentage of the minimum wage and are pegged to its increases. Indeed, until late into the 1990s this was its main use, since most wages actually agreed upon in collective bargaining agreements were above the minimum. Since 1995, however, an attempt has been made (with the cooperation of the trade union federations, represented in the Labour Foundation) to close the gap between the lowest contract wages and the minimum wage, by having the former approach the latter. This has in fact been quite successful as, in the collective bargaining agreements concluded since then, the minimum wage has become the rule for many new employees starting in more or less unskilled jobs. (22)
The Netherlands is (with Belgium, the U.K. and Spain) among those countries with minimum-wage legislation, and the only country in which unemployment benefits are legally tied to the minimum wage. There are three categories of minimum wage: (23) for single people, lone parents and breadwinners (i.e. where the partner does not work). In 1999 the minimum wage for each category was 1810 guilders, 2111 guilders, and 2064 guilders per month respectively (for purposes of comparison: 1 euro = 2.20 guilders) (Antonides and van Raaij, 2000). Increases in the minimum wage are pegged to increases in contract wages by a rather complex formula (Act on the minimum wage etc., art. 14: see Asscher-Vonk, 2000: 143-44). There is thus a dual link between benefits and economic growth: their relationship to the minimum wage, and the link between the minimum wage and contract wages. The nexus of benefits and minimum wages holds for both unemployment and disability (24) compensation, though not in an identical way. Figure 4 summarises the respective rules and regulations.
As a result net replacement rates (25) in the Netherlands are relatively high, both at the start of unemployment and in the case of prolonged unemployment. In the early period the Netherlands is matched by Luxembourg, Portugal and the three Scandinavian EU countries. After five years, however, Luxembourg and Portugal have joined the middle ranks, while the Netherlands and Scandinavia are still in the top league, remaining on average remarkably stable and high--despite some losses for low incomes--with a ratio of around 80 percent (Ministerie van SZW, 2000: 357, fig. 10.4a and 10.6b).
[FIGURE 10 OMITTED]
Where there is no social security in the form of wage compensation, and if no other sources of income are available, then only welfare remains. (26) There are three welfare categories, all in the age bracket 21-65 (for younger people different rules apply): couples, lone parents and single people. Couples receive 100 percent of the net minimum wage, lone parents 70 percent and single people 50 percent. (27) These benefits are exclusive of child allowances and other benefits, for example rent subsidies and (local) tax exemptions and subsidies. No robust comparable data exist on this more inclusive level of welfare benefits. If we confine ourselves to welfare plus child allowance, we find the Dutch somewhere in the upper middle of the European distribution. Single people in the Netherlands are comparatively well-off, lone parents are just a little above average and couples with children score the average (Ministerie van SZW, 2000: 356, fig. 10.3).
During the 1990s the annual figure for households on a minimum income was around 10 percent (nearly 650,000). Around 4 percent of households were long-term (four years or more) recipients of a minimum income. Both percentages are diminishing slightly due to the effects of the economic upswing of the second half of the 1990s, the resulting favourable labour market and activating measures from the government. Yet the differences in income between the welfare dependent and the rest of the population are growing. The global median income in the Netherlands grew by 7 percent between 1990 and 1999 while, for the welfare dependent, median income growth was a mere 2 percent. (28)
One-parent families are in the highest risk category: almost half of these families have a low income, while members of a one-parent family are three times more likely than the average to be on a low income. The next most significant factor, independent of family type, is the country of birth. Immigrants (first and second generation) are heavily over-represented among those on low incomes. Four out of ten foreign families have a low income (the comparable score for Dutch families is 12 percent). A further risk category is that of single women aged sixty-five and over. In 1999 they had a one-in-four chance of being on a low income. Here, however, developments are favourable, as the proportion was one in three in 1995.
So, for people without occupational pensions (mostly women aged sixty-five and over) and groups with labour market disadvantages (for reasons of language, educational deficit or family care obligations), times are hard. For those available--at least in principle and by virtue of their welfare or wage compensation-dependency--to work, the official answer has been (re-) integration into the labour market; however, this policy has had limited success. Unemployment among foreign and migrant workers, for example, is about 4 times the average, and is still 2.5 times more than the overall rate for low-skilled workers. Their net rate of participation, again, is low: where in 1999 on average two out of three people in the labour force participate, the same is true of only one in two foreigners/migrants (SCP, 2000: 285, Table 9.4).
It is has become commonplace to link the limited success of labour-market activation (29) with the activation quality of social security, including welfare. Where the latter is concerned the poverty trap is of particular relevance. The idea of the poverty trap is that the income people derive from welfare, plus additional benefits, may be higher than the income from work, even if work generates more income than the welfare benefit taken by itself. Rent subsidy in particular is often quoted as an obstacle preventing people from accepting a job.
About one in three families on low incomes fall within the scope of the poverty trap. Most (fifteen out of twenty) of these families are on welfare, a minority (four out of twenty) receive disability compensation and one in twenty unemployment compensation (SCP/CBS, 2001:129, Table 8.2). In other words, they stand to lose out financially by accepting a job, because as well as giving up their benefit, they may also lose extras, notably rent subsidy. The question is then, does this loss indeed obstruct the acceptance of a job? Statistically, the answer is yes: when the unemployed and welfare dependent who do not receive rent subsidy are compared with those who do, comparing their employment situation at point zero with their position one year later, we find that of the former category one in three is working a year later, and of the latter only one in seven (SCP/CBS, 2001: 132, Table 8.3). The effect is strongest for welfare recipients, suggesting that it may not be the rent subsidy so much as the distance to the labour market that is the decisive influence. It should be noted, in this context, that one strand of research indicates that the decision to accept a job depends less on the relation of the current level of pay it offers to benefits and more on its prospects. So a career perspective and the prospects of learning on the job may be more important levers in stimulating labour-market participation than current rates of pay versus benefits (de Beer, 1996).
6. By Way of Conclusion: Combining Work, Education and Care
In January 2002 the Secretary of State for Emancipation Affairs of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment issued a document entitled 'Investigating the Life Cycle' (Ministerie van SZW, 2002). The main thrust of the document is the attempt 'to remove the obstacles standing in the way of the combination of work, care and leisure over the life cycle' (p. 2). Durable participation in several spheres of life is the object, with participation in the labour market as a central--but not exclusive--reference. (30) The approach is informed by a threefold perspective: a constant presence in the labour market during working age, roughly between the ages of twenty and sixty-five; a flexible combination of work, care and education during this period, in which phases of heavy labour-market involvement are followed by phases allowing more time for care and/or education and vice versa; and a phased withdrawal from the labour market in the later stages of the life cycle.
The approach that looks at participation in society from a lifetime perspective is a comparatively new one in the Netherlands. It is very different from the current approach, if only because most of the transitions involved are the result of voluntary decisions and choices. Social security of the old vintage was geared to protecting people from hazards beyond their control or from inevitable occurrences such as unemployment, disability or old age. The framework in which it was developed assumed the life cycle to comprise a first phase of learning, a second phase (for the predominantly male breadwinner) of work and a third phase of rest. To create a framework for combining work, care and education is, by contrast, to open up an arena in which people choose voluntarily, and at least partly at their own risk, which options and packages they wish to follow. This involves a major reworking of the links between work and social security, including the distribution of responsibilities (risks) between individuals and families, social partners and other collectivities, and the government. Even the simplest questions entail complex rearrangements: what kind of social security is available if one becomes ill during educational or care leave? What are the consequences for pensions when people take up leave? Should pensions be involved (as collateral, or as a fund) in financing forms of leave, and what measures should be taken for those whose employers do not have, or who have not joined a pension fund? Should leave options be granted as individual rights or as agreements between employers and employees? How should funds be made available--for example, through vouchers, tax credits or a one-time grant at the age of eighteen or twenty-one?
The situation at present is best characterised as one of research and preparation. Traditionally, the Netherlands has been relatively backward in devising and offering provision for combining work and care. The typically Dutch solution of part-time work is an invention of employers and employees rather than of governmental policy. Similarly, the slow process of individualising social security rights is a product of external pressure from the EU rather than conscious policy choices by the Netherlands. In reality, the Netherlands has long functioned on the model of the breadwinner economy. This model is no longer upheld today--on that there is a broad consensus--but the building blocks for a new one, such as the life cycle model of combining work, care and education, are not yet ready, let alone in place. Investigation is thus the appropriate first step to identify what the new model requires, and the obstacles to it. We need to understand the nature and quality of these obstacles in order to develop measures to remove them.
First, the obstacles. There are many of these, dating from different periods. They are most easily classified according to the type of transition involved: (31)
* from non-work to work: (i) taxation rules in particular, to the extent that they may discourage labour market participation by small earners where a large earner is present; (ii) the large labour reserve of those caught in welfare dependency and the poverty-trap, explicitly including the obstacles faced by one-parent families in the shape of working hours and insufficient childcare provision;
* combining education and work: relevant in particular for those categories of workers left out of the current practices and distribution of company training--older employees, women, the low skilled;
* combining a (part-time) job and entrepreneurship: notably in view of the obstacles to balancing working times and, particularly for women, balancing work and care (inadequate childcare provision and financial protection in times of pregnancy and childbirth); pension consequences and complex administrative rules and regulations;
* combining work and a phased withdrawal from the labour market, particularly if the policy of discouraging a massive retreat from the labour market means that older employees are more costly in terms of wages, thus reducing their chance of effective participation and adding to the effect of seniority on wages;
* work and social security: particularly the effects of different presences in the labour market on insurance and insurability for unemployment, illness and disability, and the problems of insurance and finance during periods of leave.
The above is a shorthand version of the obstacles as presently defined by the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. So what are the policy options and relevant agencies that have been identified to work on removing these obstacles? Figure 5 gives an overview of such policies and agencies.
This is an impressive list of policy options, and thus of possible new initiatives for combining work, care and education. Pivotal is the place of pensions in most funding schemes, including governmental leverage in influencing tax facilities for pensions and the eventual changes therein. No doubt this reflects the rather advantageous position of the Dutch in the field of old age pensions, just as it reflects a governmental reluctance to burden the collective sector through public funding. (32) Assumptions that publicly-funded or underwritten arrangements for parental leave (as in Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Germany) are determining the immediate policy agenda would thus seem to be unfounded. It is legitimate to infer from the above list of options that the Netherlands is planning to set out on a course of combining work and care by having care provision matched to work and care matched to forms of leave. In this respect there are similarities to the Scandinavian example in particular. The resemblance ends, however, with finance. Taking pensions as the pivot, the role of non-governmental collectivities such as insurers, pension funds, and--partly in tandem with these funds--the social partners is essential. The life cycle model as it stands now, however preliminary its status and final architecture, is the polder model revisited.
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(1.) See G. Schmid, 2001, p. 7: 'The future world of work requires not only "making work pay" but also--and maybe even more crucially--"making transitions pay"'.
(2.) For the purposes of comparison in most cases the year 1995 is added. Not all data relate to this period; where expedient illustrative data have been used, even when these refer to different years.
(3.) The data differ from the data in the LFS for two reasons. First is the inclusion of the age group 15-24 in the Dutch figures. The second is that, in the Dutch employment figures, jobs of up to 12 hours per week do not count, whereas they do in the LFS figures. The comparable figures from the LFS are given, where available, in the Joint Report, chapters on Working Time, Income Security, Employment Relationship, and Work and Care.
(4.) Article 7:610 of the Dutch Civil Code: 'The employment contract is the contract in which one party, the employee, commits himself to perform, against a wage, work during a certain time in the service of the other party, the employer'.
(5.) Employment contracts are in principle incomplete, contracts for professional services are in principle complete, also when the latter assume the shape of a contingency claims contract.
(6.) This is termed the 'zone of acceptance' (Simon) or the 'zone of indifference' (Barnard).
(7.) More precisely, in both labour and employment law. For the distinction see Selznick, 1969. Habitually, however, labour law is shorthand for both types. For reasons of convenience we will maintain this habit.
(8.) This can be seen as a special case of considering organisations as networks instead of unitary agencies. It may be argued that forms of contracting out, subcontracting and even internal contracting follow the same logic. These, however, take place in a different legal regime, at least in the Netherlands.
(9.) Professional Employer Organisation is one tag, used for the hiring organisation; another is Professional Agent Relationship, used for the employee. Services in the fields of childcare provision, education etc. are explicitly included. See Junggeburt, 2001: 33-4.
(10.) See the press statement of the ABU, the general union of private employment agencies, dated 20 April 2001, in which these wider objectives were made official.
(11.) See Huiskamp et al., 2002. The three contracts are: the traditional employment relationship, the collective bargaining agreement and the impact of newer developments such as work-and-leave arrangements.
(12.) A private Foundation, established in 1945, in which representatives of employer and employee summit organisations meet to prepare the ground for the agenda of negotiations in the collective bargaining arena (for example: wage restraint and shorter working hours, the position of weak categories in the labour market), and to address, coax and inform the government (and be addressed, coaxed and informed by the government of course). The Foundation has few formally public duties (it plays a role for example in the process of making adherence to collective bargaining agreements mandatory for nonsignees). The Foundation is often quoted as the godfather of the 'polder model'.
(13.) For example: if the relationship is intermittently continued, when does it become a regular employment relationship? And for how many hours?
(14.) As can be gauged from OECD, 1999: 60-61, Chart 2.1, where it is shown that, between the late 1980s and the late 1990s, employment protection for regular employment in the Netherlands hardly changed at all and became more flexible for temporary employment, leading to an overall assessment of more flexibility in the late 1990s than a decade earlier. As a whole, this conclusion fits the Dutch experience, but the signs--at least in terms of the Flexibility and Security Act--should be reversed to give more flexibility in the context of regular labour, less in the context of flexible labour. The decision of the OECD to lump hiring and firing together is presumably responsible for this result.
(15.) Which is only a subset of the forms of flexibility relevant for the argument here. For other forms of flexibility, however, no data can be put forward.
(16.) The Netherlands has been characterised as the only 'part-time economy' in the world.
(17.) However, it should not be forgotten that one effect of the Flexibility and Security Act may be a rise in the number of regular employees employed by employment agencies themselves. In view of the fact that these agencies are extending the scope of their activities beyond traditional temp. jobs to include the training and education of employees, such an effect on their employees (i.e. a change from a temporary to a regular status) is bound to occur. Data are lacking, although the general thrust of our remarks here are underscored by an evaluation report on the Act. The research conducted for this evaluation concerned employment agencies (see de Klaver et al., 2000). Also, the fact that the average length of service with one employer has been on the increase during the nineties could point in the same direction (in the period 1992-99 the average period of service with one employer went up from 8.4 years to 8.9 years (see de Beer, 2001: 45).
(18.) The limit for a single week is 60 hours. However, when measured over a 13-week period, the average number of hours may not exceed 48 hours.
(19.) In the vein of the Karasek model of job demands (here: high speed and tight deadlines) and job control (here: control over time).
(20.) More detailed data are presumably available, but are not included in the report of Paoli and Merllie.
(21.) See, next to Paoli and Merllie, 2001, Ministerie van SZW/CBS, 2001: 47-8. Nevertheless, almost six out of ten workers in the Netherlands report that they can influence their speed of work. See ibid. p. 27, table 3.5.
(22.) In 1998, 6% of all employees were registered as having a minimum wage or a functional equivalent. See Arbeidsinspectie, 1998. The use of the minimum wage is actually on the increase, in particular in companies with a growing number of employment opportunities. See Fouarge et al., 2001: 22, Table 2.5. This is, once more, an indication that low-skilled jobs are not disappearing from the economic scene.
(23.) For four actually, because there is an age threshold for the regular minimum of 23 years. Below the amount is lower. The amounts quoted are for full-timers. Part-timers are remunerated in proportions of the minimum wage according to the number of hours worked.
(24.) If we were to correct the rather favourable Dutch unemployment record for the incidence of disability the picture is gloomy. About 900,000 people are on disability benefits. However, as partial disability is included in this number, it is more precise to calculate in 'benefit years'. In 1999 the number of benefit years was 769,000. More than one fourth was deemed (partially) able to work and of this number half, indeed, did work. (source: SCP, 2000: 332, table 10.1, and 337, table 10.2).
(25.) Measuring the fraction of net income that is replaced by social security in the case of unemployment.
(26.) Welfare is means-tested. Welfare benefits are defined in final rather than causal terms.
(27.) The assumption (in the case of lone parents and single people) is that the costs of renting accommodation are shared with others. If this is not the case a supplement of a maximum 20 percent of the minimum wage can be awarded. It is important to note that, in discussions on poverty in the Netherlands, two definitions of low income are used. The first is the one mentioned above: welfare-level incomes pegged to the minimum wage. The second takes the welfare level of 1979 as its starting point (1979 being the year in which the purchasing power of a welfare income was the highest yet recorded) and adjusts this level to annual rises in the retail price index. This type of income is about one-third higher that the former, reflecting the benefit cuts of the 1980s and the policy of widening the gap between income from wages and income from welfare. About 850,000 families are in the low-income category.
(28.) See, for an overall picture of poverty and low income, SCP/CBS, 2001: 9-24.
(29.) The Netherlands were traditionally high on passive expenditure. During the 1990s, however, the weight has shifted to more active policies (e.g. training, wage cost subsidies etc.). See ibid. p. 317, Table 9.10 and Ministerie van SZW, 2000: 107, figure 5.6.
(30.) In a sense this begs the question of whether the current goal is to blur the boundaries between work and family in order to ease transition between these spheres, or to respect the identity of each sphere by improving the quality of the bridges between them. Teleworking, for example, can result in an intermingling of domestic and work activities. On the other hand, it can also result in flexible arrangements in which the separation of work and the domestic sphere is upheld and even strengthened.
(31.) In this we follow the sequence in Investigating the Life Cycle (Ministerie van SZW, 2002).
(32.) Collective funding as under 2, excepted. Though it may be conceptually expedient to differentiate collective from public funding, in the Investigation they are used interchangeably.
Table 1 Labour force and participation rate 1995 1998 1999 2000 x1,000 Population (age 15-64) 10,498 10,604 10,663 10,717 men 5,329 5,369 5,400 5,429 women 5,169 5,235 5,263 5,289 Labour force (1) 6,596 6,957 7,097 7,187 men 4,067 4,196 4,242 4,288 women 2,529 2,761 2,856 2,898 Employed labour force (2) 6,063 6,609 6,805 6,917 men 3,814 4,047 4,121 4,174 women 2,249 2,562 2,684 2,743 Unemployed labour force 533 348 292 270 men 253 149 121 114 women 281 199 172 156 Percentage Gross participation rate 63 66 67 67 men 76 78 79 79 women 49 53 54 55 Net participation rate 58 62 64 65 men 72 75 76 77 women 44 49 51 52 (1.) The age cohort of 15-24 in the labour force is swiftly diminishing in size. In 1990 it was close to one million, by now it is about 25% less. Fewer young people and rising educational demands are usually quoted in explanation. (2.) The employed labour force consists of individuals performing 12 hours of work per week or more. Source: cbs/EBB Table 2 Labour force participation, age and education 1995 1998 Participation rate in percent gross net gross net 15-24 years 44 39 45 41 25-34 years 80 74 84 80 35-44 years 76 70 79 75 45-54 years 68 64 72 68 55-64 years 27 26 30 29 Primary education 38 32 39 35 Junior general sec. edu. 42 37 46 43 Pre-vocational education 59 53 60 56 Senior general sec. edu. 52 46 54 50 Senior vocational edu. 75 70 76 74 Vocational colleges 78 73 79 77 University education 87 81 90 87 1999 2000 Participation rate in percent gross net gross net 15-24 years 48 44 47 44 25-34 years 84 81 85 82 35-44 years 79 76 80 77 45-54 years 72 69 73 70 55-64 years 32 31 35 34 Primary education 40 36 41 38 Junior general sec. edu. 46 43 48 45 Pre-vocational education 61 58 61 58 Senior general sec. edu. 58 54 57 54 Senior vocational edu. 77 75 78 76 Vocational colleges 80 77 81 79 University education 90 88 90 88 Source: cbs/EBB Table 3 Net participation, sex and age category, 1990 and 1999 (percent) Women Men 1990 1999 1990 1999 15-24 years 41 42 43 46 25-34 years 53 71 88 92 35-44 years 43 59 90 92 45-54 years 33 50 82 88 55-64 years 11 18 42 45 Total 39 51 71 76 Source: SCP, Emancipation Monitor 2001: 58 Table 4 Higher education, age and sex, 1999 (percent) Women Men VC (1) UN (2) VC (1) UN (2) 15-24 years 10 1 8 0 25-34 years 20 9 18 11 35-44 years 18 6 18 11 45-54 years 15 4 18 11 (1.) VC: Vocational Colleges (2.) UN: University Education Source: SCP Emancipation Monitor 2001: 44. Table 5 Net participation of individuals aged 15-64, in terms of sex and educational level, 1990 and 1999 (percent) Women Men 1990 1999 1990 1999 Primary education 17 22 49 52 Junior general sec. edu. 28 36 44 53 Pre-vocational education 32 37 78 80 Senior general sec. edu. 34 48 42 61 Senior vocational edu. 54 63 84 86 Vocational colleges 63 71 87 83 University education 71 82 86 91 Source: SCP, Emancipation Monitor 2001: 59 Table 6 Net participation of individuals aged 15-64 with children under different ages, in terms of sex and educational level, 1992 and 1997 (%) Primary Second. jr Second. sr VC UN 1992 Women Child under 5 13 20 33 52 66 Child 6-11 23 27 41 59 69 Child 12-17 28 36 48 59 72 Men Child under 5 71 91 95 97 96 Child 6-11 73 91 95 97 97 Child 12-17 72 89 93 93 94 1997 Women Child under 5 17 30 48 65 74 Child 6-11 23 33 46 63 71 Child 12-17 29 38 55 65 82 Men Child under 5 73 90 96 96 96 Child 6-11 76 91 95 96 96 Child 12-17 71 91 93 95 95 Note: child means youngest child. Source: SCP, Emancipation Monitor 2001: 60 Table 7 Developments in external numerical flexibility (1992-2000) as a percentage of the number of employees in thousands 1992 1993 1994 Flexible empl. Relations (%) 7.6 7.5 8.1 Of which: Temporary workers (%) 1.9 1.9 2.2 Workers on call (%) 1.5 1.5 1.7 Substitute workers (%) 0.7 0.7 0.7 Other Workers (%) 3.4 3.4 3.5 Total employees (thousands) 5,258 5,261 5,222 1995 1996 1997 Flexible empl. Relations (%) 8.9 9.9 10.0 Of which: Temporary workers (%) 2.8 3.4 3.7 Workers on call (%) 2.0 2.1 2.1 Substitute workers (%) 0.6 0.9 0.8 Other Workers (%) 3.5 3.4 3.5 Total employees (thousands) 5,357 5,459 5,644 1998 1999 2000 Flexible empl. Relations (%) 10.3 9.4 8.7 Of which: Temporary workers (%) 3.8 3.5 3.2 Workers on call (%) 2.4 1.8 1.4 Substitute workers (%) 0.8 0.7 0.5 Other Workers (%) 3.3 3.4 3.6 Total employees (thousands) 5,874 6,072 6,117 Source: cbs/EBB Table 8 Net participation rates and share of part-time employment by sex, in percentages, 1998 Net participation Total Men Women Total EC1 OECD (2) Netherlands 68 80 57 39 30 Belgium 58 67 48 16 16 Germany 62 69 54 18 17 U.K. 71 79 64 25 23 Denmark 79 84 73 22 17 Finland 65 68 62 12 10 Portugal 69 78 60 11 10 Spain 50 66 35 8 10 Share part-time employment Men Women EC OECD EC OECD Netherlands 18 12 68 55 Belgium 4 5 33 32 Germany 5 5 36 32 U.K. 9 8 45 41 Denmark 11 10 36 25 Finland 7 7 17 13 Portugal 6 5 17 16 Spain 3 3 17 17 (1.) Self-reporting of respondents. (2.) Paid work for less than 30 hours per week. Sources: European Commission, 1999; OECD, 1999 Table 9 The development of part-time work, 1994-2000 (percent) 1994 1995 1996 1997 12-19 hrs p/wk (%) 6.5 7.0 6.8 7.1 20-34 hrs p/wk (%) 20.0 20.8 21.3 21.8 35 or more hrs p/wk (full time) (%) 73.5 72.2 71.9 71.1 Total number employees (x 1,000) (1) 5,920 6,063 6,187 6,400 1998 1999 2000 12-19 hrs p/wk (%) 8.0 8.2 8.4 20-34 hrs p/wk (%) 22.1 22.5 23.7 35 or more hrs p/wk (full time) (%) 69.9 69.2 67.9 Total number employees (x 1,000) (1) 6,609 6,805 6,916 (1.) The total number of employees include part-timers. Source: cbs/EBB Table 10 Number of usual hours worked per week in the main job by occupation and sex, 1998-2000 (percent) 1998 1999 EU 15 Netherlands EU 15 Netherlands Total 38.5 33.9 38.3 33.8 Male 42.2 39.4 42.0 39.4 Female 33.4 25.9 33.2 25.8 2000 EU 15 Netherlands Total 38.2 33.5 Male 41.9 39.2 Female 33.2 25.5 Source: US 1998, 1999, 2000 Table 11 Number of working hours per week for full-time m/f and part-time workers m/f, 1998-2000 (percent) 1998 1999 2000 EU 15 NL EU 15 NL EU 15 NL Total 42.2 41.2 42.1 41.1 41.9 41.2 Full time Male 43.3 41.6 43.1 41.5 43.0 41.5 Female 401 396 40.0 39.5 39.8 39.6 Total 20.1 20.2 20.1 20.5 20.3 20.6 Part-time Male 20.6 23.4 20.6 24.0 20.9 23.9 Female 20.0 19.4 20.1 19.6 20.2 19.7 Source: LFS 1998, 1999, 2000 Table 12 Irregular working hours (1994-2000); number of employees affected (percentage of all employees) 1994 1995 1996 1997 Irregular working hours (%) 53.6 53.9 54.9 55.2 Of which: Night and evening (%) 16.4 16.4 16.4 16.8 Evening (%) 18.9 18.9 19.8 20.4 Weekend-day (%) 18.2 18.6 18.7 17.9 Total number of employees 5,222 5,357 5,459 5,644 (x 1,000) 1998 1999 2000 Irregular working hours (%) 55.7 57.6 64.2 Of which: Night and evening (%) 16.6 17.3 19.4 Evening (%) 20.3 23.2 31.3 Weekend-day (%) 18.7 17.1 13.5 Total number of employees 5,847 6,072 6,117 (x 1,000) Source: cbs/EBB Table 13 Employees having influence over their working hours, percent-ages, by country, 2000 Country % EU15 45 Netherlands 53 Belgium 47 Germany 41 U.K. 52 Denmark 58 Finland 51 Portugal 42 Spain 30 Source: Paoli and Merllie, 2001 Table 14 Control over time: breaks and holidays (percent) Question All workers 1995 2000 26.2 no break when desired 37 39 26.3 no possibility to choose when to take 41 43 holidays Source: Paoli and Merllie, 2001 Figure 1 The employment relationship Rights Obligations Employee defined diffuse Employer diffuse defined Figure 4 Rules for unemployment and disability benefits Unemployment Disability Access 1. Having worked 26 Being disabled conditions of last 39 weeks. by at least 15%. 2. In 4 out of 5 years having worked at least 52 days each year. Available for Involuntarily unemployed; work registered as job seeker; actively looking for a job; accepting suitable job offer. Benefit period 1. six months. 1. Depending on age. 2. (1) Depending on work 2. Follow-up benefit history and age, between until 65 (pension). 9 months and 5 years. Benefit level 1. 70% of last wage 1. 70% of last wage. 2. (1) 70% of minimum wage. (corrected for degree 3. Supplement if family of disability). income below minimum. 2.70% of minimum wage + age dependent supplement. (1.) In order to qualify for a period of more than 6 months benefit when unemployed, and thus for a benefit related to the minimum wage, employment history must include access condition 2. Source: Ministerie van SZW, 2000: 214 (table B) and 215 (table C) Figure 5 Policy option and agencies responsible Policy Options Agencies Responsible 1. Leave options and the Government, social partners, streamlining of forms of leave by EU, ILO, UN. means of a 'leave umbrella'. 2. Sources for financing leave, a a) social partners, government choice between: b) social partners, government, a) collective financing, insurers b) life cycle insurance at the c) as b plus pension funds sectoral level, d) as c c) individualised savings account, possibly with pensions as collateral, d) combining a, b, c. 3. Financing of leave through a new Government, social partners, use of pension tax advantages and pension funds and insurers more flexible pension arrangements. 4. Employee saving arrangements Government, social partners geared to financing education and/ or leave. 5. Introducing individual learning Government, social partners and development accounts for risk categories. 6. Educational and support facilities Government, social partners, for women re-entering the labour Centres for Work and Income market. 7. Financial incentives for accepting Government work through targeted tax measures and facilities. 8. Stimulating participation of the Government elderly. Source: Ministerie van SZW, 2002: 26-7…