The Temporary Staffing Industry in Protected Employment Economies: Germany, Japan and the Netherlands
University of Duisburg-Essen
Danielle D. Van Jaarsveld
University of British Columbia (UBC) - Sauder School of Business
2008 Industry Studies Conference Paper
The paper addresses how the temporary staffing industry secures social security and a degree of employment stability in three non-liberal market economies with a well developed temp work sector and several decades of industry regulation. Until the 1980s unions in Germany, Japan and the Netherlands effectively opposed the deregulation of the staffing industry. Restrictions placed on the temporary staffing industry institutionalized an employment-type alternative to the US-style form of registered and on-call temp staffing. In the face of high unemployment in the 1990s unions participated in de-regulatory drives aimed at expanding the role of the industry in troubled national labor markets. In most cases, deregulation dismantled key dimensions of the employment type of staffing, and unions shifted their efforts to securing equal treatment of temporary staff. To date, legislation has fallen short of mandating equal treatment, and in the best cases (Germany and the Netherlands) collective bargaining has taken on the role of securing equal wages for temporary staff. Japan, Germany and the Netherlands represent three different degrees of industry de-regulation, with the best case of equal treatment of temps in the Netherlands, and the deepest segmentation of temporary and regular workers in Japan. In comparison to Germany and Japan, Dutch unions early on engaged in regulating temporary staffing services. The early experience of regulating rather than rejecting contingent labor and the density of neo-corporatist institutions for social bargaining in the Netherlands means that Dutch unions have developed stronger capacities for regulating contingent employment despite the weak organization of contingent workers. Unions in Japan and Germany have only recently developed capacities for representing contingent labour, but the significant weakening of social bargaining in both countries is associated with growing labor market segmentation between temporary and regular employees.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 22
Date posted: April 30, 2008