Contingent Employment in Europe and the United States

Contingent Employment in Europe and the United States

Edited by Ola Bergström and Donald Storrie

Contingent Employment in Europe and the United States examines the developments in labour markets in advanced economies in the 21st century, as regards contingent employment. This is defined as employment relationships that can be terminated with minimal costs within a predetermined period of time. This includes fixed-term contracts, temporary agency work and self-employment. Contingent employment has been the subject of much legislative activity in the last decade, at both the national and European level. Temporary agency work, in particular, has recently been extensively deregulated in most European countries and currently we await the fate of a proposed EU directive on agency work. The book is therefore highly topical.

Chapter 5: Contingent employment in Spain

Manuel Pérez Pérez

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, social policy and sociology, labour policy


Manuel Pérez Pérez INTRODUCTION Like most developed countries, Spain suffered a major unemployment crisis between 1981 and 1993. However, since 1992, the Spanish market appears to be recovering even if unemployment is still high and the Spanish labour market is unusually flexible. The Spanish case, when compared to other OECD countries, is a representative case of a contradictory situation detected by the labour market analysts. Despite a highly dynamic economy, a flexible labour market and a high rate of job creation, unemployment has remained high. This situation may be explained by a number of very different factors. The first factor is the return of a great number of Spanish migrant workers from other European countries; the second, the strong increase in the entry of women to the labour market since the middle of the 1980s; the third, perhaps, the very protectionist and interventionist labour legislation of the past. This chapter analyses the development of the Spanish labour market and in particular the use of contingent employment. Contingent employment is defined in terms of limited duration contracts and temporary agency work. However, in Spain, there are no differences between the limited duration contracts and the contracts that can be used by an agency. Several sources have been used in the writing of this chapter. Firstly, we have analysed the statistical data published by the Spanish Department for Labour and Social Affairs. These data come in turn from two main sources. On the one hand,...

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