Labour Administration in Uncertain Times

Labour Administration in Uncertain Times

Policy, Practice and Institutions

Edited by Jason Heyes and Ludek Rychly

The 2008 financial crisis marked the beginning of a prolonged and ongoing period of extreme economic turbulence that has created multiple challenges for both governments and national systems of labour administration. Difficult economic conditions are encouraging a reevaluation of established policies and institutions in the areas of labour, employment, social protection and industrial relations. This book analyses recent reforms in labour administration and national labour policies, charting their development and discussing the challenges and opportunities faced by governments, ministries of labour, labour inspectors, employer organisations and trade unions.

Chapter 10: Conclusion

Jason Heyes and Ludek Rychly

Subjects: economics and finance, labour economics, social policy and sociology, labour policy


The primary aim of this volume has been to discuss recent developments and challenges in the field of labour administration. Labour administration is concerned with the elaboration, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of labour policy. It is the bridge that links policies, practice and outcomes. As such, the organization, capacity and management of labour administration systems are important factors influencing the regulation of work and employment. Investigation of these issues is particularly timely, given the additional demands that have been made of national labour administration systems since 2008. Two key themes emerge from the contributions to this volume. The first is that the forms and functions of labour administration systems are strongly influenced by the wider social and economic agendas pursued by policy-makers. Furthermore, labour administration activities can be performed in different ways and services can be delivered through a variety of institutional and market mixes. This is not to say that all forms of service delivery are equally efficient or effective. The second theme is that labour administration systems are facing new and persistent chal- lenges, many of which stem from the period of severe economic turbulence that began in 2008. National labour administration institutions have had to cope with substantial increases in unemployment and, more recently, reductions in their own budgets and staff resources. The contributions to this volume have highlighted the differences that exist between national systems of labour administration in terms of their organization and governance. At the level of central government, respon- sibility for labour administration resides with a single labour ministry in many countries, while in others it is distributed across two or more government departments.

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