CEEMET: Flexible employment contracts responding to changing market circumstances and meeting employee needs

Date

08 Mar 2012

Sections

Social Europe & Jobs

“Based on our latest survey, flexible employment contracts play an important role in the successful operation of European metal, engineering and technology-based industries”, comments CEEMET Secretary General Uwe Combüchen CEEMET’s latest survey among its membership.

Due to the volatile economic cycles today, rapid technological development, the intensified globalisation of markets, lean manufacturing and changing employee needs, more flexible forms of employment contracts have become a necessity. 

“Flexible forms of employment is a tool that our companies need to deal with fluctuations in demand, providing for the possibility of speedy and efficient deployment of rightly skilled workers for periods when orders diverge from normal”, Uwe Combüchen comments. 

“If Europe is to retain and further develop a productive industrial basis we must ensure the diversity of labour contracts and also improve existing regulations to facilitate adaptability’, concludes Combüchen.

Against this background and the ongoing debate on European and national level on the alleged precariousness of the most common forms of flexible employment, CEEMET carried out a survey among its members regarding the usage of flexible employment contracts.

The survey looks at how companies use fixed-term contracts, temporary agency work, and part-time work, and on why this flexibility is important to manufacturers.

According to the CEEMET survey (in countries where sector specific information was available), the level of fixed-term contracts in Europe in the MET sector is around 4.3%, the level of temporary agency work is similarly around 5.4% and part-time work around 5%.  These contracts are used primarily because of the uncertain outlook, of fluctuating demand for labour, of employees asking for more flexibility, for work-life balance and because of rigidity in legislation concerning dismissals.

The survey shows that companies are willing to accommodate different working arrangements taking into account employee needs for flexibility. Employers are highly concerned about keeping competent employees so flexibility therefore has also become a case of give and take between employers and employees.

For more information, please contact:

Uwe Combüchen, Secretary General

Tel: +32 2 706 8467 

E-mail: combuechen@ceemet.org 

Karoliina Rasi-Hedberg, Senior Public Affairs Advisor

Tel: +32 2 706 8472

E-mail: Karoliina.rasihedberg@ceemet.org 

About CEEMET:

CEEMET is the European employers’ organisation representing the interests of the metal, engineering and technology-based industries. Its members are national employers’ organisations and federations, representing 200 000 member companies across Europe. The vast majority of them are SMEs, providing over 13 million jobs of direct employment.