Chapter 9: Conclusions: contingent employment in Europe and the fexibility-security trade-off
9. Conclusions: contingent employment in Europe and the ﬂexibility–security trade-oﬀ Donald Storrie INTRODUCTION This ﬁnal chapter is devoted to underlining the main points made in the country chapters and attempting to generalize the developments in the six countries to developments in the other member states of the European Union. Focus is ﬁrst placed on the general systems of labour law in the six countries and how they have evolved in the 1990s as regards the regulation of contingent employment. We then explore possible links between the growth of contingent employment (mainly limited duration contracts) and regulation. We also relate the growth of limited duration contracts to the state of the labour market. However, of the various forms of contingent employment examined in this volume we would argue that temporary agency work is of most interest and worth special attention in this ﬁnal chapter. There are several reasons for this. It was by far the most rapidly growing form of contingent employment in the 1990s and research on agency work is relatively limited. It is also conceptually a very interesting contractual form, being a hybrid of an employment and commercial contract. From a policy perspective, it was the object of much legislation during the 1990s and as this volume goes to press we await the fate of a directive on agency work currently before the European Parliament.1 Furthermore, if appropriately regulated, agency work may provide some reconciliation in what is perhaps the major conﬂict between employer and worker interests...
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