Social Integration Through Transitional Labour Markets
Labour Markets and Employment Policy series
Edited by Jacqueline O’Reilly, Inmaculada Cebrián and Michel Lallement
Chapter 10: Working-time transitions and employment statuses in the British, French and Dutch health-care sectors
Damian Grimshaw, Frans Kerstholt, Gilbert Lefevre and Ton Wilthagen The health-care sector is ideally suited to studying how access to, and opportunities for, work across a 24-hour schedule facilitate or hinder positive employment transitions. In particular, the introduction of innovative workingtime arrangements may be a means to satisfy the desire of potential labour market entrants, both male and female, to reconcile work and private commitments,1 which is one of the central concerns of transitional labour markets (TLMs). However, budget cuts, privatization and ﬂexibilization are omnipresent in this sector. Several studies reveal a greater intensity of work, with more services being delivered by a smaller labour force (see Ackroyd and Bolton 1999 for the UK, Bouffartigue et al. 1997 for France and Van den Broek 1996 for the Netherlands). This observation is accompanied by a perception that the sheltered labour market traditionally enjoyed by healthsector employees has been eroded. Nevertheless, this sector is expected to be an area of employment growth in the future and be subject to a growing demand for ‘quality care’. Efforts to meet these challenges are curbed by problems of recruitment and staff retention. Conﬂicting demands arise as potential entrants to the health sector apparently decide against a working life that involves long and unsociable hours, greater demands on the ideals of a ‘public service work ethic’ and relatively low levels of pay. Thus, the sector illustrates many of the issues central to the concerns of TLMs (Schmid 1998). Despite the similarity in the nature...
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