G. Monusova, (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation
Evolution of the labor market in European countries is associated with the spread of various non-standard forms of employment. One of these forms is temporary employment which assumes fixed-term labor contracts. This regime of labor relations affects different groups of workers and is accompanied by erosion of the existing social protection model. Using data from Eurostat and OECD, the author discusses main trends and structural properties of such employment, shows its heterogeneity and the ambiguity of social consequences. On the one hand, fixed-term labor contracts are extended, first of all, among low-skilled and low-educated workers. However, an actual alternative to such contracts for this group of workers is non-employment which can hardly be a good substitute. On the other hand, fixed-term contracts are often applied to apprentices and trainees. In this case, they facilitate transition to permanent jobs. Vulnerability in the labor market relates probably not so much to the type of labor contract as to the quality of the human capital that workers possess. Those with the modern human capital have stronger labor market positions regardless of the type of a contract. On the contrast, the low quality of a human capital increases vulnerability of workers’ labor market positions and exposes them to inferior labor relations. Under certain conditions, temporary employment can really become a problem for employees. Low-paid short-term contracts without social protection could be a “trap” of vulnerable employment and poverty for unskilled workers who have weak positions in the labor market. The situation for young people is especially serious today, and their entry into the labor market is often difficult. Both the scale and structural characteristics of temporary employment are an outcome of the acting labor market institutions, and a viable solution to this problem relates to reforms of these institutions.
non-standard employment, temporary employment, fixed-term contracts, segmented labor market, precarious employment, employment protection legislation
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