ATYPICAL EMPLOYMENT IN POLAND- OPPORTUNITIES AND BARRIERS TO ITS USE Iwona Kukulak-Dolata University of Lodz. Poland Flexibility is defined as employers and employees’ ease in adapting to changes in external conditions. LABOUR MARKET FLEXIBITY is represented by the labour market adaptability to the varying market conditions and technologies. TYPES OF LABOUR MARKET FLEXIBIITY: FLEXIBILITY OF EMPLOYMENT is the ability to adapt the number of workers to the changing economic circumstances, particularly those affecting production, wages, productivity and profitability. A higher flexibility of employment means that numbers of workers in enterprises are more sensitive to variations in factors determining the demand for labour. TYPES OF LABOUR MARKET FLEXIBIITY: FLEXIBILITY OF WORKING TIME is expressed in the departure from regular, standard working time solutions defined by full- time employment, even distribution of the working time and inadmissibility of work in „asocial” hours. TYPES OF LABOUR MARKET FLEXIBIITY: FLEXIBILITY OF WAGES indicates their responsiveness to changes in wage determinants, and particularly to the labour market conditions, profitability of enterprises and productivity of labour. TYPES OF LABOUR MARKET FLEXIBIITY: FLEXIBILITY OF LABOUR SUPPLY is represented by the labour force mobility, i.e. its adaptability to determinants of the labour demand. Several types of mobility can be distinguished, such as occupational mobility, mobility of qualifications, spatial mobility and inter-enterprise mobility. TYPES OF LABOUR MARKET FLEXIBIITY: ATYPICAL EMPLOYMENT is one that is different from traditional employment, the latter being defined as offered for an unfixed term, with eight hour working day and fixed working day start and end time. ATYPICAL FORMS OF EMPLOYMENT Part-time work Fixed-term contracts Temporary work On-call jobs Working from home and telecommuting Self-employment ATYPICAL FORMS OF EMPLOYMENT PART-TIME WORK where the working time is shorter than that worked by a comparable full-time worker. In addition, special forms of part-time employment, such as job sharing, weekend work, etc., are included here. ATYPICAL FORMS OF EMPLOYMENT FIXED-TERM CONTRACTS, subdivided into three types: trial period contracts, contracts for a period needed to complete a job or a task and apprenticeship contracts. In Poland a trial period contract may not run for longer than three months and a fixed term contract is only allowed to be renewed twice in successive periods. Apprenticeship contracts are frequently tied up with obligatory school education. ATYPICAL FORMS OF EMPLOYMENT TEMPORARY WORK is rendered by workers in enterprises (or other workplaces) they have been referred to by a temporary employment agency. The legal basis for this type of employment is a subcontract signed among the intended employer, the employee and the agency. As regards its duration, the work is fixed-term, i.e. after the “lending period” a worker is back on standby. ATYPICAL FORMS OF EMPLOYMENT ON-CALL JOBS – in this case an employer may demand a worker to do a job at any time. The underlying contract may specify the terms of employment or describe the minimum and maximum inputs and responsibilities resting on the worker and employer being parties to it. Workers holding the contracts have to be available to their employers (e.g. to be on standby at home) and do a job when called. ATYPICAL FORMS OF EMPLOYMENT WORKING FROM HOME and TELECOMMUTING are forms of work rendered not on the enterprises’ premises, but in a place named by the worker who does the requested piece of work and is accountable for his or her performance to the employer, while staying outside the latter’s supervision. Telecommuting is the most recent form of distance working that utilises computers and telephone lines, i.e. modern information and telecommunication technologies. It may take place at any distance from where it is subject to traditional assessment. ATYPICAL FORMS OF EMPLOYMENT SELF-EMPLOYMENT of workers instead of paid employment. Under the approach persons working on their own account can do either simple or very specialised jobs that do not need supervision. In this system some jobs in enterprises (e.g. cleaning, simple repairs and similar jobs that do not require high skills, but also designing or consulting services that involve high qualifications) are set apart to be done by workers who work on their own account (and who frequently have the same responsibilities under their regular contracts of employment). Consequently, such workers continue to do the same jobs for the same employer. Chart 1. Share of part-timers in the total number of workers in Poland, years 1992-2004 16 14,2 14,5 14 13,8 13,7 13,3 13,1 13 13,2 13,2 12,9 12,8 12,9 12,7 12 11,2 10,7 10,7 10,5 10,7 10,5 10,8 10,7 10,8 11,1 10,1 10,1 10,4 10 8,9 8,9 8,7 8,8 8,6 8,2 8,5 8,4 8,4 8 7,8 8,1 7,9 8,1 6 4 2 0 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Total Man Woman Note: November data for years 1992-1999, 4th quarter data for years 2000-2001. Source: GUS (Central Statistical Office) 2004, author’s calculation Chart 2. Workers by type of employment contract in Poland, years 1992-2004 25 20,9 21,3 20 16,8 15 12,7 10 5,4 5,4 5,6 5,8 5,7 6,1 5,1 4,3 5 2,9 0 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Note: years 1992-2000 – jobs taken for periods up to 12 months (occasional jobs), Years 2001-2003 – fixed-term jobs. Source: GUS 2002, GUS 2003 GUS 2004. Chart 3. Share of employers and own-account workers other than farm operators in the population of “civilian” employees in Poland, years 1990-2004 14 12,8 12 12,3 11,5 10,5 10,4 10,3 10 9,9 9,8 9,7 9,4 9,6 9,1 9,3 8,5 8 7,9 6 4 2 0 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Source: GUS Statistical Yearbooks GUS, issues for respective years, author’s calculations. THE SCOPE OF APPLICATION OF ATYPICAL FORMS OF EMPLOYMENT IN POLAND FIXED-TERM CONTRACT-was operated by 78,4% of the enterprises; PART-TIME WORK –was operated by 66,3% of the enterprises; ON-CALL JOBS were found in 11,4% of the enterprises: WORKING FROM HOME was used in 3,0% of the enterprises; TELECOMMUTING was applied by 2,3% of the enterprises. ADVANTAGES OF ATYPICAL EMPLOYMENT A tool for adjusting labour supply and demand to the labour market developments; A tool for restoring the labour market equilibrium, especially in the case of structural unemployment and unemployment arising from the business cycle; A measure allowing occupational activation of persons that for various reasons might have problems with taking steady, full-time and unfixed-term jobs; Atypical employment enables workers to perform their family and occupational roles. MAJOR BARRIERS TO ATYPICAL FORMS OF EMPLOYMENT Workers’ reluctance to take such jobs; Workers associate atypical forms of employment with the secondary, inferior labour market; Workers covered by atypical forms of employment are less willing to identify themselves with the enterprise; High employment costs discourage employers to offer part-time jobs; Inability to exercise direct supervision of the working processes and technological barriers in the case of teleworking. CONCLUSIONS: Forms of atypical employment in Poland are still weakly developed; They are drawing an increasing employers’ interest; Their limited practical use arises from employers’ insufficient knowledge of their nature and types; In the future atypical forms of employment should be promoted by emphasising their advantages compared with traditional employment; Incentives should be created for employers to use atypical employment more broadly; It is necessary to protect the interests of workers taking jobs under atypical employment. First and foremost, their employment conditions should be protected to the same degree as in the case of workers in the traditional system.
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