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Flexibility and security in employment relationship

In order to attain the goals put forward in Lisbon strategy and to promote the creation of more and better jobs a policy is required which includes the principles of market flexibility, principles of work organization and labour relations as well as employment security and social security.

Flexicurity is nowadays becoming the main feature characterizing the society that is ready and able to change and gain profit from the global environment without losing the internal unity and life quality. Flexicurity model seeks to combine social justice with high economic indices. Within the framework of flexicurity more attention is paid to the interconnection between social and employment policy than to new policy measures, helping employees/individuals to feel sufficiently secured at the same time being aware of the new opportunities offered by globalization and labour market. Concept of flexicurity includes not rather difficult procedure of firing employees and professional mobility as well as sufficient measures of social security thus alleviating activity for both social partners.

Flexicurity is not merely the issue of two dimensions - security and flexibility. It must be examined together with active labour market policy, especially regarding employment availability, job searching and professional training. Having regard to the new strategic challenges of today, for instance, globalization and pressure of competitors, transition to knowledge-based economy, ageing society, new family models, European integration process, flexicurity plays a special role.

The crucial and important role of human resources is especially emphasized while performing market reform:

  • to include more people in labour market - both by elaborating various initiatives, including different resident groups in the labour market and retaining the job for a longer period for persons in pre-retirement age and elderly people and those who started working recently. It pertains to various financial means (tax and social systems), improvement of working conditions, improved quality of work, gender equality by balancing professional and family life, etc.;
  • to improve the connection between human resources and job vacancies - to reduce various internal and external barriers by promoting the mobility of labour force (according to geographic and occupational factors), modernizing the institutions of public employment and involving individuals in different training programmes at any age.
  • to improve the adaptability of labour market including interests and demands of both employers and employees. It means that labour market is flexible in different ways (competition in commodity market, constant progress of technologies), it increases the work efficiency by using the labour force more efficiently.  On the other hand, more people will be involved in the labour market and risk of segregation between individuals in the labour market will be reduced when the employment security (job also as a social security) is increased.
  • the concept of flexicurity is a strategy of measures to promote the flexibility of labour market as well as facilitate the improvement of work organization and labour relations. On the other hand it is important that issues of social security are taken into consideration and jobs are guaranteed. Therefore four most important elements of flexicurity are put forward:
  • flexible and secure conditions of employment contract, which provide sufficient flexibility for both employees and employers by means of up-to-date employment laws, collective agreements and work organization. In that way an opportunity is provided to involve groups, which are subjected to risk, in promotion of full-time employment;
  • comprehensive lifelong education that ensures lifelong training so that individuals could adapt to the rapid changes and innovations in the labour market;
  • active labour market policy which promotes the transition between various employment situations and supports during the change of a job;
  • up-to-date systems of social security which guarantee the security of income or the substitution in case of social risk, simultaneously encouraging employers to return to the labour market.

Flexicurity is based on the following flexicurity principles:

  • flexicurity includes flexible and secure conditions of employment contracts, comprehensive strategies of lifelong education, efficient policies of labour market and up-to-date systems of social security;
  • flexicurity also includes the balance between employer, employee, person who looks for a job, rights and responsibilities of state authorities;
  • national features of the labour market and employment relations must be taken into consideration in implementation of flexicurity;
  • flexicurity must reduce the differences between employee and  unemployed person.  At the same time it must promote the inclusion of employees and unemployed as well as easier transition to another job;
  • it must promote the mobility of workers both within the company and among companies. Good quality jobs and work organization, improvement of working skills is the basis of flexicurity; 
  • flexicurity must promote gender equality by facilitating the equal approach to employment and offering the opportunity to combine family and professional life providing equal opportunities to migrants, youth, disabled persons and elderly people;
  • in order to introduce flexicurity, a dialogue is necessary between the state and social partners to promote faster changes and implementation of more successful policy;
  • flexicurity policy must be efficient regarding the budget expenses with regard to all involved parties, paying a special attention to small and medium enterprises.