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Non-standard employment in Poland Trends and worker experiences Adam Mrozowicki, PhD European Trade Union Institute Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "Non-standard employment in Poland Trends and worker experiences Adam Mrozowicki, PhD European Trade Union Institute Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 Non-standard employment in Poland Trends and worker experiences Adam Mrozowicki, PhD European Trade Union Institute Conference “Getting Europe back to work. Alternatives to austerity”, Brussels 6 November 2013

2 LM regulation, LM performance and non standard employment: the case of Poland The basic characteristics of precarious/flexible employees: quantitative research Precarious and flexible worker experiences: qualitative investigations Emergent counter-movements? Overview

3 Labour market reforms in 2000s Relatively strong employment in 1990s and social transfers in exchange for social acceptance for restructuring Labour code changes in in the context of very high unemployment – flexibility with limited security Anti-crisis legislation in Labour code changes in 2013 – working time regulations

4 Employment contracts in Poland EMPLOYMENT FORM EMPLOYMENT COSTS FOR EMPLOYER High protection against dismissals Social security contributions Contributions to national health insurance Minimum wage Training, H&S costs Limited control of employees Standard employment contract YES NO Contracts of limited duration YES/NOYES NO Part time employment contracts YES/NOYES NO Employee leasing (TWA) NO YESYES/NO Self- employment NO YES Freelanace contract YESYES/NOYESNO YES/NO Specific-task contract NO YES Source: Pankow, M. (2012) Młodzi na rynku pracy, Warszawa: ISP, s. 33 (adopted)

5 Employment protection (I) Employment protection – individual and collective dismissals (regular contracts) (scale 0-6) – OECD employment protection index Source: OECD Employment Database

6 Non-standard employment and LM performance Graph 1: Share of employees with contracts of limited duration and the unemployment rates in Poland in Source: Eurostat, LFS

7 Non-standard employees: basics facts (I) AgeTotalMaleFemale PLDEPLDEPLDE ,4%53,6%64,7%55,1%69%51,9% ,2%10,7%25,2%10,2%25,3%11,2% 50 and more18,1%4,7%19,6%4,7%16,3%4,7% Table 2: Employees with contracts of limited duration (% of employees) in 2012 Source: Eurostat, LFS PLDEEU Total9,3%9,8%7,2%19,1%23,4%25,7% 15,8% (EU-27) 17,2%19,2% Male7,0% 4,5% 6,9%9,1%5,9%6,7%8,4% Female12,1%13,3%10,6%37,7%43,4%45%28,7%40,5%31,9% Table 3: Part-time employees in the total number of employees (%)

8 Non-standard employees: basics facts (III) Graph 3: Main reasons for temporary employment Source: Eurostat, LFS

9 The profile of a temporary employee (I) Characteristics (as for 2008) % of the total number of employees with a contract of limited duration in a given category Pensioners58,48 In education53,79 Occupational group Managers and professionals13,42 Mid-ranked professionals18,32 Low-ranked white collar workers29,02 Clerks and service workers41,36 Skilled manual workers30,65 Unskilled manual workers44,45 Sectors /NACE Seasonal (a,b,f,h)42,36 Retail and wholesale (g)35,13 Others (c-e, i-q)24,47 Company size Less than 10 employees32, employees27,23 More than 50 employees22,06 Source: EU-SILC, Kiersztyn &Dzierzgowski 2012: 80-81

10 The profile of a temporary employee (II) Graph 4: Wages of employees by the type of contracts Source: EU-SILC, Kiersztyn 2012: 109

11 Civil law contracts The lack of systematic official statistics and difficulties to assess actual numbers Lower Silesia (Sochanska et al. 2013) – 10% of the employed Main Statistical Office (GUS): 546,7 thousand in 2010  1012,9 thousand in 2011 (Kowalski 2013) (companies of more than 9 employees only = underestimated) Ministry of Labour and Social Policy: 758,6 thousand in 2008  894,3 thousand in 2011 (overestimated?) National Labour Inspectorate: 9,5% of the employed in 2009  12,6% in 2012 (based on inspection statistics = non-representative) National Insurance Institution (ZUS): 399,1 thousand of social security contribution payers from freelance contracts in 2005  815,8 thousand in 2012 (without specific-task contracts)

12 Temporary agency work Graph 5: The number of people employed with temporary work agencies in Poland in the years (in thousands) Source: Ministry of Labour and Social Policy ( ) Note: The figure include employees who found a job via TWA(employed by an external employer) those directed to temporary work by the TWA (employed by the TWA)

13 Flexible/precarious worker experiences (I) Heterogeneous experiences: Minority satisfied with working conditions – mostly self-employed or making use of flexible contracts in addition to their permanent jobs, better wages, stronger labour market bargaining power Majority unsatisfied with their current working conditions – civil-law contracts or temporary contracts as the only source of income, earning less, experiencing instability (Sochańska et al. 2013: 11, N=30 IDI and 10 focus group interviews) Various categories of employees experiencing flexible jobs in services (Kozek, Kubisa, Ostrowski 2005; N=73) Working students (accepting junk jobs as temporary) Young workers – precarious work as necessity Middle-aged workers – shifted to junk jobs as result of restructuring Pensioners

14 Flexible/precarious worker experiences (II) Limited impact of flexible employment on the improvement of work-life balance (Sochanska et al. 2013: 192; Polawski 2012) Limited predictability of working hours affecting family life Economic insecurity Postponing decision on marriage and kids Limited possibilities of taking out loans (mostly due to low earning, but also the type of contract) The “normalisation” of flexible employment The dominance of instrumental meanings of work (Kozek et al.2005) The internalisation of market discourse (accumulation of skills, permanent employment as reward) - Desperak 2010; Polawski 2012 The minimisation of differences between permanent and temporary employment (Zalewski 2012; Polawski 2012)

15 Precarious work in Wroclaw’s services (I) VOLUTARISTIC FLEXIBILITY – ‘FREELANCERS’ FORCED PRECARISATION Normalisation of instability Privatisation of welfare Disbelief in collective voice Fragmented class identities Political volatility Source: Mrozowicki, Krasowska, Karolak 2013 (forthcoming)

16 Collective mobilisation – new discourses Increase minimum wage for Poles We are not machines! Demonstration on the anniversary of strike in Chung Hong (All-Poland Trade Union Workers’ Initiative) I don’t like to start all over again everyday. Stop the junk contracts! Collective mobilisation beyond work – mostly right-wing nationalist

17 Flexible workers and unions Liberal criticism “They [unions] tilt at windmills, I’d say, you can’t beat market or social mechanisms which change our reality, you can’t separate Poland from the rest of the world and economy with some kind of thick wall, we already had it” (Agnieszka,PR manager) Conditional support “I think that trade unions is a way to go, but simply...I don’t know. They should go for some training to the UK, or elsewhere. To organise themselves differently. Because... What I connect with a Polish trade union? O, shit...simply with moustache and Molotov cocktails, you know what I mean. And not with taking care of a worker” (Andrzej, cultural organiser) Lack of knowledge

18 Conclusion The emergence of flexible employment regime and related development of a new dual labour market in Poland Limited and/or difficult to assess positive outcomes of labour market deregulation for labour market performance and expected negative outcomes for social security system Negative outcomes in terms of wages, working conditions, work-life balance versus “normalisation” of precarious and instable jobs among workers Emergent counter-mobilisation, its prospects and limits


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