EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Ireland: Young people and temporary employment in Europe

  • Observatory: EMCC
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 08 December 2013



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This report examines the issue of young people in temporary employment in Ireland as of January 2013. The evidence suggests that the number of young people in Ireland in various forms of precarious temporary and non-standard employment has risen considerably compared to the rest of the EU27 in recent years. The major factor underpinning this are issues associated with the financial and economic crisis that has blighted Ireland since 2008– there being very little access to permanent employment for younger people and very high unemployment. Generally speaking, young people on temporary contracts enjoy less entitlement to social security benefits and employment protection legislation than permanent employees.

Introduction

Youth unemployment has been a persistent problem in many parts of Europe for many years. Over the past 3-4 years, however, since the onset of the financial crisis and the economic recession which followed, it has become an even greater and more widespread problem and one which, given the on-going depressed state of the European economies, is likely to remain for some time to come. The latest monthly figures (for September 2012) show the unemployment rate of those aged 15-24 averaging 22.8% in the EU – just over 1 percentage point higher than at the time a year earlier. In Spain, the figure was over 54% and in Greece, 57%, in both cases, much higher than a year earlier. In the worst affected countries, therefore, as in most Member States, there is very little sign of any easing of the youth unemployment problem. There are, however, a few exceptions. In Germany, in particular, youth unemployment has declined since the global recession hit in 2009 and now stands at only 8%, well below the level it was before the recession. In Norway too, the rate is only 8%, though this is slightly above the level in 2007 before the crisis. Germany, apart, there are two other countries in the EU with youth unemployment below 10% according to the latest monthly figures - the Netherlands (9.4%) and Austria (9.9%). As in Norway, in both cases, the rate is above the pre-crisis level.

Moreover, young people who do manage to find jobs often have to settle for a temporary one, defined as one with a fixed-term contract of employment. According to the European Labour Force Survey (LFS), in 2011, just under 43% of employees under 25 were in temporary jobs in the EU and well over half in Germany (56%), France (55%), Portugal, (57%), Sweden (57%), Spain (63%), Poland (66%) and Slovenia (75%). (In Norway, the figure was much lower than in most EU countries, at around 24%.) While around 40% of the young people concerned on average were in temporary jobs because they had a fixed-term training contract and another 9% were on probationary contracts, a substantial proportion (37% on average) were in temporary jobs because they were unable to find permanent ones. In the Czech Republic, Cyprus and Portugal, this figure was over 75% and in Spain and Slovakia, well over 80%.

Among young people making the transition from education or initial vocational training into employment, the proportion who take up temporary rather than permanent jobs is much higher than for the age group as a whole. In 2011, 57% of those aged 15-24 in employment who were in education the previous year were in temporary jobs in the EU and 86-87% in Spain, Portugal and Poland. For those moving from unemployment into employment, the proportion who take up temporary jobs is even higher on average in the EU (61%) as well as in Spain (90%).

The fact that a relatively large proportion of young people in employment are in temporary jobs may be a reason why they have been hit disproportionately hard by the crisis. In the economic downturn in 2009, many of the people who lost their jobs first were on fixed-term contracts since not renewing these contracts represented the easiest way for employers to reduce their work forces. In 2009, therefore, there was some decline across Europe in the proportion of young people in work employed in temporary jobs (see the Tables attached to the questionnaire). Since then, there has been some tendency for the proportion to increase again, in part perhaps because employers are reluctant to take on people on permanent - or standard – contracts given the uncertainty about future economic prospects.

Given the above, it is understandable that there is growing public interest, and some concern, over the nature of the jobs that young people are taking up. This concern is mirrored at EU-level where a ‘flexicurity’ approach to labour market policy has increasingly been advocated, which, in practice, means that while flexibility is an important objective, it needs to be accompanied by protection of workers’ interests if it is not to lead to a growth of precarious employment in low quality jobs. Accordingly, there is a need to obtain a better understanding of the terms and conditions applying to temporary jobs, the extent to which they are a stepping stone to permanent jobs and a working career in line with a person’s qualifications and capabilities, the access to social protection which comes with them and the measures in place to encourage employers to convert them into more stable jobs. These issues form the focus of the present study.

Definition of temporary jobs

The interest in the study is in all young people employed in temporary jobs of whatever kind, in the sense of all jobs that they are not subject to a standard contract of employment which is normally one of indeterminate length, or at least one for which no specific length is specified. Such temporary jobs can be for a period of training (i.e. traineeships or apprenticeships) or probation, intended to enable employers to check the suitability or aptitude of people for the jobs concerned. They might also be to replace someone on maternity leave or on a training programme or they might relate to a specific project of fixed duration.

All such jobs and others which are of fixed duration should be covered, whether they are part-time or full-time and irrespective of whether they are specifically for young people (such as perhaps in the case of traineeships or apprenticeships) or for people of all ages which young people happen to be doing. In some cases, it should be noted, it is relevant to include, in addition, to temporary employees, the ‘bogus’ self-employed – i.e. those people who have self-employment status but who are contracted to work for a single employer and who are effectively similar to employees who have a fixed-term contract of employment. (The cases in question relate to instances where employers use self-employment contracts as a means of employing young people without bearing the costs, and obligations, of a standard contract of employment.)

Outline of study

The study is divided in three sections. The first is concerned with the main types of job in which young people who are employed under temporary contracts work and the reasons why employers choose to use temporary contracts of employment instead of standard ones when they take on young people, as well as with the link, if any, with labour market conditions (i.e. with the extent to which the crisis has led to an increase in temporary employment). The starting point is the data summarised above, derived from the LFS, which indicate the relative number of young people employed on temporary contracts in the different European countries and the way that this has changed over the recent past (these data, as noted, are set out in the tables attached to the questionnaire). Correspondents are asked to check these data against any national data on temporary employment and to indicate where these show a different picture from the LFS data, perhaps because a different definition is adopted of temporary jobs.

Any description or commentary on national statistics should, however, remain brief, since the main task of the first section, is to review and summarise relevant sources of information on the different kinds of temporary contract under which young people are employed in each of the countries, the circumstances and areas (the types of job and the sectors of activity) in which they tend to be used and the main reasons why employers adopt them.

The second section is concerned with the access to social benefits which temporary jobs provide, distinguishing between the various kinds of benefit, and with the extent to which entitlement to benefit differs for young people employed in temporary jobs from that for those employed under standard contracts of employment. It should be emphasised that the concern is not only with the formal regulations which apply, which in many if not most countries do not make a formal distinction between temporary jobs and others, but also with de facto entitlement which stems from the nature of temporary employment. In particular, young people in temporary jobs may have difficulty in complying with the need to have a continuous period in employment, or a continuous record of paying social contributions, in order to be eligible for unemployment benefit.

The third section is concerned with the measures in place to regulate the use of temporary contracts of employment (such as specifying the number of times they can be renewed), with the attitudes of government and the social partners towards their use and with the incentives which exist to encourage the wider use of standard contracts of employment and the conversion of temporary jobs into permanent ones. A particular point of interest is the extent to which regulations and attitudes as regards temporary jobs have changed over the crisis period as the number of jobs available for young people to take up has diminished and as expanding these has become a policy priority.

A final point to note is that while it is customary to define youth employment (and unemployment) in terms of those aged 15-24, it is also the case that many of those aged 25-29 are also employed in temporary jobs, as indicated in the attached tables. Correspondents are therefore asked to extend the coverage of the study to this age group where relevant. It is recognised that in some countries the statistics available may not relate precisely to the age groups specified here, in which case correspondents should report on the age groups nearest to these.

Questionnaire

1. Importance of temporary employment for young people

1.1. Do the figures shown in the attached tables (on the number of temporary employed as a % of total employees based on Eurostat LFS data) give a reliable indication of the scale of temporary employment among the young in your country and the way that it has changed over recent years? Are there young people employed in temporary jobs who do not show up in the Eurostat figures? Are there national statistics which show a different picture from the Eurostat data? If so, please indicate what they show and give the source of the data.

Yes, the attached LFS tables below provide an accurate summary of the scale of temporary employment among young people in Ireland, particularly since the onset of the financial and economic crisis in 2008. The LFS data indicates that temporary employees in Ireland as a share of total employees aged 15-24 rose from 11.2% in 2004 to 34.2% in 2011 – this constituted a massive 23 percentage point increase. The LFS data is supported by a recent study by the ILO, which shows that change in the incidence of youth temporary employment in total employment between 2007-2011 was significantly higher in Ireland (13.7 percentage point rise) than elsewhere in the EU (1.2% percentage point average rise for EU-27). Further, youth part-time employment has grown faster than adult part-time employment both before and during the economic crisis in Ireland and elsewhere in the EU. Between the second quarter of 2008 and 2011, the youth part-time employment rate increased by 3.6 percentage points in the European Union as a whole while it increased by substantial 20.7 percentage points in Ireland. Part-time youth employment is often temporary so there is frequently a correlation between the two. The ILO study is entitled ‘Global Employment Trends for Youth 2012’. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_180976.pdf

1.2. Is there any evidence that other forms of employment are used as a substitute for temporary contracts, such as bogus self-employment where young people are contracted to provide services to a single work provider in a continuous manner so acting de facto as employees? If so, please give the source of the evidence and indicate the scale of the phenomenon in terms of the number of people concerned.

No evidence available.

1.3. Please list (and give summary details, i.e. purpose and duration of the contract) the most common contract types or contractual arrangements under which young people are employed on a temporary basis (such as for traineeships, apprenticeships, probationary periods, replacement of workers on leave or projects of a fixed duration). What is the relative importance of each type of contract or arrangement in terms of the number of young people employed under them?

There is no accurate data providing a breakdown of specific types of temporary/short-term contracts in relation to young people. The variety and complexity of temporary and/or non-standard contracts have increased in Ireland over the past five years or so. For example, forms of non-standard employment such as ‘zero hours’ appear to be particularly prevalent in sectors like home helps and retail; short-term contracts of less than six months are often utilised in seasonal work (agriculture, food processing etc); and the construction and hotel sectors utilise such non standard forms of employment to some extent.

In the past, for example, Ireland’s independent Industrial Relations News (IRN) magazine has reported on use of ‘zero hours’ contracts in relatively low skill jobs such as retail and home helps. In 2006, IRN reported that home helps protested outside the Department of Health as part of a campaign to secure greater security in pay, hours and conditions, and bring an end to ‘zero hour’ contracts. Over 90% of home helps are part-timers working between 8 and 20 hours per week, most of them women. Their hours can be unpredictable. Furthermore, In the Irish retail sector, meanwhile, the Mandate union has suggested that major Irish retailer, Dunnes Stores, has used variable hour’s contracts to cut staff working time. According to the union, many employment contracts at the company only guarantee a minimum of 15 hours work per week, with additional hours being granted by management when deemed necessary. It was reported that some Dunnes staff are earning less than €150 per week as a result, but could not claim unemployment benefit to supplement their earnings given the way hours were structured.

1.4. Please indicate the main reasons for the emergence and development of the different types of temporary contract which you have listed in response to question 1.3. To what extent are they linked to particular conditions in the labour market or employment protection legislation/regulation in your country? What is the main attraction of such contracts to employers? What effect has the crisis had on the use of such contracts?

As discussed in the ILO study referred to in 1.1 above, there is inconclusive evidence that growth of different types of temporary contracts for young people is linked to employment protection legislation (EPL) in Ireland. Rather, the data described in 1.1 above and the LFS tables below indicates that temporary employment among young people in Ireland has risen markedly since the onset of the financial and economic crisis in 2008. Thus, effects associated with the crisis would appear to be the main reason underpinning the rise of temporary employment in Ireland amongst the young in recent years. The growth of temporary employment and part-time work, in particular since the global economic crisis, suggests that this work is increasingly taken up by young people because it is the only option available in a precarious labour market context, where, according to Central Statistics Office (CSO) data, youth unemployment in the 20-24 age category in Ireland stood at 29% in the third quarter of 2012 (the overall unemployment rate was 15%). Many employers in Ireland may favour temporary contracts because they are cautious about creating longer-term jobs given the uncertainty unleashed during the crisis, and it also allows them to reduce labour costs.

1.5. To what extent are temporary contracts a ‘stepping stone’ to ‘permanent’ jobs (or those with standard contracts of employment of undefined duration)? Are apprentices and trainees typically taken on by the companies or other organisations concerned on standard permanent contracts once they complete their training? Has the situation changed over the crisis period? Please summarise any relevant studies which have been carried out in your country or other evidence at the national level which exists and give the reference to them.

Given the discussion in 1.4 above, given the severity of the crisis in Ireland and the ongoing repercussions there seems little likelihood, as things stand, that temporary contracts are serving as a ‘stepping stone’ to ‘permanent’ jobs for young people. Many employers are reluctant to hire on a permanent basis given the prevalence of economic uncertainty. An example would be the very limited job opportunities available to construction apprentices given the decimation of Ireland’s construction industry since the onset of the crisis in 2008. Anecdotally, temporary contracts were more likely to lead to permanent positions before 2008 in what was then close to a full employment labour market (4.4% unemployment rate in 2007, compared to 14.6% in 2013).

2. Access to social benefits

2.1. Does entitlement of young people to (contributory) unemployment insurance benefits and (non-contributory) unemployment assistance (i.e. benefits, usually means-tested, which provide a minimum level of income) differ if they are employed on temporary contracts as opposed to permanent ones? If so, please indicate briefly the differences in eligibility conditions and any differences between types of temporary contract (including those working as self-employed for a single employer). Have there been any changes over the period of the crisis?

By definition, the logistical difficulty of applying for unemployment benefits is more complex and onerous for young people who move in and out of temporary contracts compared to those on ‘permanent’ ones – on other words if they are constantly moving in and out of the labour market. Also, it is more difficult for young people in temporary contracts to build up their social insurance contributions during the times they are not in employment. In terms of specific changes to unemployment benefits in Ireland over the period of the crisis, the following impact upon young people:

Contributory Unemployment Insurance (UI)

Unemployment Benefit was renamed ‘Jobseeker’s Benefit’ in 2006. Jobseeker's Benefit (JB) is a social insurance scheme. It is paid weekly to people who have paid adequate social insurance contributions and who are out of work. It was announced in Budget 2012 that there would be changes to Jobseeker's Benefit for part-time workers. However, these changes require legislation and are not yet in effect. According to the Department of Social Protection, the changes mean that where a Jobseeker's Benefit recipient is working for part of a week, the payment entitlement will be based on a 5-day week rather than a 6-day week. This means that for each day that a person is unemployed, one-fifth of the normal rate of Jobseeker's Benefit is payable and if they get part-time work for 2 days, they will get three-fifths of the normal Jobseeker's Benefit for that week. Given that many young people in Ireland are employed on temporary/part-time contracts, as discussed in 1.1 above, this will have a big impact on them.

Non-contributory Unemployment Assistance (UA)

Unemployment assistance was renamed Jobseeker’s Allowance in 2006. JA is a means-tested payment made to people who are unemployed and who do not qualify for Jobseeker's Benefit or whose entitlement to Jobseeker's Benefit has expired.

Recent key changes include:

The rate of Jobseekers Allowance paid to new claimants under the age of 20 was reduced from €204.30 per week to €100 per week, with effect from the first week of May 2009. In April 2009, then Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Mary Hannafin said the changes were made “to incentivise 18 and 19 year old jobseekers to avail of education and training opportunities and try to prevent their becoming welfare dependent from a young age, changes are being made to the Jobseekers Allowance… This decision was made on foot of ongoing consideration of unemployment and incentives policy by Government. It is not discriminatory but rather a targeted measure aimed at protecting young people from welfare dependency. Receiving the full adult rate of a jobseekers payment at 18 years of age, without a strong financial incentive to engage in education or training, can lead to welfare dependency from an early age. If they do not improve their skills, such young persons are at risk of becoming long-term unemployed from a young age. Therefore, it is considered necessary to provide 18 and 19 year old jobseekers with a strong financial incentive to engage in education or training or to take up employment that pays more than €100 per week.”

From January 2010, the rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance for new claimants aged 20 and 21 without dependent children was reduced to €100; for new claimants aged 22 to 24, without dependent children,  it was reduced to €150; and for all people aged 25 and over it was reduced to €196. From January 2011, the maximum rate of Jobseekers Allowance was cut by €8 per week to €188.

2.2. Does entitlement of young people to sickness benefits and maternity benefits differ if they are employed on temporary contracts as opposed to permanent ones? If so, please indicate briefly the differences in eligibility conditions and any differences between types of temporary contract (including those working as self-employed for a single employer). Have there been any changes over the period of the crisis?

Yes, it can differ in situations where young people on temporary contracts do not accrue sufficient social insurance contributions to qualify for maternity benefit and sickness benefit. Although similar disadvantages may be experienced by permanent workers if they have been employed only for a short time, the fact remains that it is often easier for permanent workers to build up their contributions through continuous service than it is for temporary workers.

Maternity Benefit is paid by the Department of Social Protection to women who have a certain number of paid PRSI contributions on their social insurance record and who are in insurable employment up to the first day of their maternity leave. In general an employee has no right under employment law in Ireland to be paid while on sick leave. Consequently, it is at the discretion of the employer to decide their own policy on sick pay and sick leave, subject to the employee’s contract or terms of employment. Generally speaking, given this discretionary element, those young people in permanent employment are more likely to receive sickness benefits than those in temporary contracts. Under Section 3 of the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 and 2001 an employer must provide an employee with a written statement of terms of employment within two months of the commencement of the employment. One of the terms referred to in this Act on which the employer must provide information is the terms or conditions relating to incapacity for work due to sickness or injury. If a young person has no entitlement in their terms and conditions of employment to pay during sick leave, they may apply for Illness Benefit if they have enough social insurance contributions. Again, those in permanent employment are more likely to accrue sufficient contributions than those in temporary contracts.

2.3. Are there any differences in the entitlement of young people to old-age pensions between those employed in temporary jobs as opposed to permanent ones? If so, please indicate what these are. Have conditions of eligibility to pensions changed over the period of the crisis (including through pension reforms introduced as part of a long-term strategy to improve the financial sustainability of the system)?

Yes, young people in permanent jobs are more likely to be entitled to company occupational pension schemes than those in temporary jobs, and/or more likely to fund a personal pension. Those in temporary contracts will often have to rely on the state pension. It is down to individual companies as to whether or not they provide occupational pension entitlements to staff on temporary contracts – most do not.

2.4. Are there any differences in entitlement of young people to health care between those employed in temporary jobs as opposed to permanent ones? If so, please indicate what these are. Have conditions of eligibility to health care changed over the period of the crisis?

Yes, in Ireland young people in temporary employment are less likely to be entitled to occupational healthcare plans than permanent employees. Once again, it is down to individual companies as to whether or not they provide occupational health care benefits to staff on temporary contracts – most do not.

3. Regulation of temporary contracts and policies to support transitions into permanent contracts

3.1. Please describe briefly the regulations applying to the main types of temporary contract in your country. Do restrictions exist on the maximum duration of the different types of temporary contract for young workers or the number of times they can be renewed? Do these regulations differ by age (i.e. between young people and older workers) and/or by type of temporary contract (as mentioned in question 1.3), by occupation, or by sector of activity? Do special regulations exist for those completing apprenticeships or traineeships? Have the regulations changed over the period of the crisis – i.e. has there been a tendency for them to have been tightened or relaxed?

In Ireland, the employment law framework is ostensibly intended to provide all employees with a minimum level of protection. However, some aspects of Irish employment protection legislation still exclude employees in non-standard forms of employment because they do not fulfill certain prerequisites for eligibility – for example, to bring a claim against unfair dismissal, an employee will generally have to have one year’s continuous service with their employer (which clearly excludes those on short fixed-term contracts). There are a range of regulations applying to temporary contracts in Ireland. For space reasons, only the main ones are summarized below.

Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Act 2012

New legislation regulating temporary contracts could have a significant impact on Ireland on the terms and conditions of employment of all contract workers, both younger and older. The new legislation to transpose the EU agency workers’ Directive into Irish law is not only retrospective on pay (but not other matters) back to December 5, 2011, but also raises issues around identifying host company workers as comparators for agency workers, the mutual obligations of hiring employers and agencies and the possible inclusion of some self-employed contractors, among others. The Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Act 2012 was published following the failure of the social partners to agree a derogation that would exempt agency workers on shorter assignments from the equal treatment provisions of the EU Directive from day one. Therefore, Ireland was compelled to adopt the default provisions in the Directive. Just before publication of the Bill, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, had signalled that the basic working conditions on which agency workers will be entitled to the same treatment as comparable permanent workers were pay, annual leave, public holidays, night work and rest period and breaks. However, working conditions that are not included are sick pay, occupational pension schemes, benefit in kind, financial participation payments and bonus payments.

The following placements, which often involve young people, are excluded from the Act:

  • Work placements administered by the state employment and training agency FAS.
  • National Internship Scheme.
  • Any vocational training, integration or retraining scheme, financed out of public monies, as specified by Ministerial Order.

National Minimum Wage

The statutory national minimum wage in Ireland regulated by the National Minimum Wage Act 2000 applies to all employees (including temporary and casual employees), except the following categories:

  • certain apprentices defined by legislation, including apprentice printers, bricklayers, mechanics, plumbers, carpenters, joiners and electricians.

The full minimum wage rate (€8.65 per hour in 2013) applies to "experienced adult workers", defined as employees who have any work experience in any two years since reaching the age of 18. Reduced rates apply to younger, inexperienced employees and trainees as follows:

  • 70% for workers aged under 18;
  • 75% for workers aged over 18 and undergoing the first third (lasting one month to one year) of a course of authorised training or study;
  • 80% for workers aged 18 and over in the first year of employment, and workers aged over 18 and undergoing the second third (lasting one month to one year) of a course of authorised training or study; and
  • 90% for workers aged 18 and over in their second year of employment, and workers aged over 18 and undergoing the final third (lasting one month to one year) of a course of authorised training or study.

Fixed-term workers

The Protection of Employees (Fixed-term Work) Act 2003 in Ireland defines a fixed-term employee as one with a contract of employment whose end is determined by an objective condition such as arriving at a specific date, completing a specific task or the occurrence of a specific event. Employees in initial vocational training or apprenticeship schemes, or with an employment contract concluded within the framework of a publicly supported training, integration or vocational retraining programme, are excluded.

A fixed-term employee may not be treated in a less favourable manner than a comparable "permanent" employee in relation to conditions of employment, except where such treatment can be justified on objective grounds (grounds based on considerations other than the fixed-term status of the employee, and where the less favourable treatment is for the purpose of achieving a legitimate objective of the employer and such treatment is necessary for that purpose). A fixed-term employee may be treated less favourably than a comparable permanent employee in relation to any pension scheme or arrangement, if the former's normal hours of work are less than 20% of the normal hours of work of the latter. Where an employee is employed by their employer (or an associated employer) on two or more continuous fixed-term contracts, the aggregate duration of those contracts may not exceed four years.

Redundancy entitlement

The Redundancy Payments Acts 1967-2007 provide a minimum entitlement to a redundancy payment for employees who have a set period of service with the employer. However, many temporary employees are likely to be excluded because statutory redundancy payment only legally applies to employees with two years' service or more.

3.2. Do incentives exists in your country to encourage employers to opt for standard rather than temporary contracts of employment, to convert temporary contracts into permanent ones or to make it easier for employees to move from temporary to permanent contracts? If so, please briefly describe the form that these incentives take. Do they apply equally to young people as well as to older workers? Are any incentives in place to encourage employers to take on young people who have completed an apprenticeship or traineeship on permanent contracts? Have there been any changes to incentives over the period of the crisis? Are any such changes being proposed or being actively discussed at present in your country?

No.

3.3. Is the employment of young people on temporary contracts an important issue of concern for the social partners? Are there strong differences in attitudes and policies between employers and trade unions towards the use of temporary contracts? Have any initiatives been taken by the social partners, either jointly or separately, to encourage the use of permanent rather than temporary contracts? Have any specific initiatives been taken in respect of young people completing apprenticeships or traineeships over the types of job they are offered when their temporary position comes to an end?

Yes, as noted in 3.1 above, issues surrounding the transposition of the EU temporary agency workers’ Directive into Irish law have been an important issue of concern for the Irish social partners and attracted strong differences of opinion. On May 16, 2012, the President signed into law The Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Act, 2012. The Act was published following the failure of the social partners to agree a derogation that would exempt temporary agency workers on shorter assignments from the equal treatment provisions of the EU Directive. In this regard, employer associations had been seeking a longer qualifying period before equal treatment rights for agency workers kicked in. However, following failure of the social partners to reach agreement, temporary agency workers are entitled to equal treatment in pay and conditions comparable to permanent workers from the first day they are employed, as intended in the Directive itself.

Temporary employees as a share of total employees aged 15-24, 2004-2011

 

% total employees

% point change

 

2004

2007

2009

2011

2004-2007

2007-2009

2009-2011

2007-2011

EU27

37.6

41.3

40.4

42.5

3.7

-0.9

2.1

1.2

BE

28.6

31.6

33.2

34.3

3.0

1.6

1.1

2.7

BG

15.3

10.3

9.3

8.3

-5.0

-1.0

-1.0

-2.0

CZ

18.0

17.4

18.7

22.3

-0.6

1.3

3.6

4.9

DK

26.9

22.5

22.8

22.1

-4.4

0.3

-0.7

-0.4

DE

55.5

57.4

57.3

56.0

1.9

-0.1

-1.3

-1.4

EE

:

:

:

13.8

 

   

 

IE

11.2

20.5

25.0

34.2

9.3

4.5

9.2

13.7

EL

26.3

27.0

28.4

30.1

0.7

1.4

1.7

3.1

ES

64.8

62.8

55.9

61.4

-2.0

-6.9

5.5

-1.4

FR

46.7

53.5

52.4

55.1

6.8

-1.1

2.7

1.6

IT

34.4

42.3

44.4

49.9

7.9

2.1

5.5

7.6

CY

16.1

23.3

18.4

17.2

7.2

-4.9

-1.2

-6.1

LV

17.3

9.3

9.3

10.7

-8.0

0.0

1.4

1.4

LT

13.8

9.8

5.0

9.1

-4.0

-4.8

4.1

-0.7

LU

24.1

34.1

39.3

34.5

10.0

5.2

-4.8

0.4

HU

15.1

19.1

21.4

22.9

4.0

2.3

1.5

3.8

MT

9.2

11.0

11.3

17.7

1.8

0.3

6.4

6.7

NL

37.9

45.1

46.5

47.7

7.2

1.4

1.2

2.6

AT

32.4

34.9

35.6

37.2

2.5

0.7

1.6

2.3

PL

60.6

65.7

62.0

65.6

5.1

-3.7

3.6

-0.1

PT

47.4

52.6

53.5

57.2

5.2

0.9

3.7

4.6

RO

6.6

4.6

3.7

5.8

-2.0

-0.9

2.1

1.2

SI

63.1

68.3

66.6

74.5

5.2

-1.7

7.9

6.2

SK

9.9

13.7

12.5

18.6

3.8

-1.2

6.1

4.9

FI

49.8

42.4

39.0

43.4

-7.4

-3.4

4.4

1.0

SE

53.1

57.1

53.4

57.3

4.0

-3.7

3.9

0.2

UK

11.0

13.3

11.9

13.5

2.3

-1.4

1.6

0.2

NO

31.2

28.0

25.7

24.3

-3.2

-2.3

-1.4

-3.7

Source: Eurostat, Labour Force Survey

         
Temporary employees as a share of total employees aged 25-29, 2004-2011

 

% total employees

% point change

 

2004

2007

2009

2011

2004-2007

2007-2009

2009-2011

2007-2011

EU27

19.5

21.1

20.2

21.4

1.6

-1.0

1.2

0.2

BE

12.4

13.1

12.5

14.6

0.7

-0.5

2.0

1.5

BG

9.0

5.3

4.4

4.2

-3.8

-0.8

-0.2

-1.0

CZ

9.8

8.1

8.4

10.8

-1.7

0.2

2.5

2.7

DK

16.5

13.9

13.8

16.4

-2.6

-0.1

2.7

2.5

DE

17.2

21.2

21.2

22.0

4.0

0.0

0.8

0.8

EE

3.0

1.8

4.2

4.2

-1.2

2.4

0.0

2.3

IE

3.4

10.1

9.5

12.7

6.7

-0.6

3.2

2.6

EL

18.4

16.1

19.9

19.0

-2.3

3.8

-1.0

2.9

ES

44.0

41.2

37.5

39.8

-2.7

-3.7

2.3

-1.5

FR

18.3

20.8

20.2

22.0

2.5

-0.6

1.8

1.2

IT

17.2

22.7

23.5

26.7

5.5

0.8

3.2

4.0

CY

19.2

17.7

16.2

18.1

-1.5

-1.5

1.9

0.4

LV

11.8

3.2

4.2

5.5

-8.6

1.0

1.4

2.3

LT

5.3

4.2

2.5

3.6

-1.1

-1.7

1.1

-0.6

LU

7.6

12.5

11.2

12.7

4.9

-1.2

1.5

0.3

HU

8.1

8.9

11.3

11.0

0.8

2.5

-0.3

2.2

MT

1.1

5.6

5.0

6.3

4.6

-0.6

1.3

0.6

NL

16.8

22.9

24.2

25.8

6.1

1.2

1.7

2.9

AT

10.0

8.8

9.6

9.8

-1.1

0.8

0.2

1.0

PL

33.8

38.7

35.6

38.9

4.9

-3.1

3.3

0.2

PT

30.3

36.6

38.6

39.2

6.3

2.0

0.6

2.6

RO

3.4

2.1

1.2

2.1

-1.3

-0.9

0.9

0.0

SI

30.7

33.7

34.1

33.9

2.9

0.4

-0.2

0.3

SK

6.8

5.7

4.1

7.7

-1.2

-1.6

3.7

2.1

FI

28.7

24.5

25.5

26.0

-4.2

1.1

0.5

1.5

SE

24.0

27.4

24.0

25.0

3.4

-3.3

1.0

-2.4

UK

6.2

7.1

6.3

5.0

0.9

-0.8

-1.3

-2.1

Source: Eurostat, European Labour Force Survey

       

Tony Dobbins, Bangor University

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