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Whatever happened to better jobs? A job quality approach to achieving gender equality. Jill Rubery European work and Employment Research Centre Manchester.

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Presentation on theme: "Whatever happened to better jobs? A job quality approach to achieving gender equality. Jill Rubery European work and Employment Research Centre Manchester."— Presentation transcript:

1 Whatever happened to better jobs? A job quality approach to achieving gender equality. Jill Rubery European work and Employment Research Centre Manchester Business School University of Manchester February 2008

2 EU policy on gender equality has stalled EU has played a major role in putting gender equality on the map/ keeping it on the policy agenda. Hard law: Has established concepts of indirect as well as direct discrimination Expanded areas that fall within gender equality law- pensions as pay; sexual harassment as discrimination Required nms to address gender equality issues Soft law: Put women's employment at the centre of the EES- Lisbon target for female employment Extended scope of employment policy- childcare as a means to a higher employment rate Introduced many MS to concept of gender mainstreaming- requiring more holistic/joined up policy approach

3 Need for new impetus Hard law Limitations of equal pay law in context of gender segregation by organisation/sector- comparisons only within a single employer Complementary policies on part-time/fixed term contracts again limited to one employer- where comparison between employers possible in agency workers directive, this directive is blocked. Soft law Focus on quantity of jobs not quality of jobs Gender disadvantage reduced to family responsibilities-no need to change the labour market or workplace NRP system has limited focus on gender and gender mainstreaming has disappeared.

4 Job quality as central to promoting gender equality Access to employment still important for women but most women in the labour market most of their working lives, Equality within work important for their working lives, and for their economic independence when working and not working.

5 Job quality to promote gender equality needs to address differences by gender in position in employment/welfare system. Integration Time Resources- pay/pensions Discrimination Household/ family position More at risk from discontinuity More constrained in daily life More likely to be economically dependent. Segregated, undervalued and facing glass ceilings Incentives and opportunities constrained by household taxation/benefits etc

6 Integration: facilitate continuity and good transitions Inactive and unemployed need to be included in ALMP/ lifelong learning Protection for new/re-entrants- temporary agency workers Participation over life course influenced by good quality transitions-e.g. security over maternity leave Job quality enhanced if opportunities to reduce hours with same employer/ but also need right to return to full-time Childcare care for all- employed, unemployed, inactive to facilitate continuity and re-entry Integrating older workers should include opportunities for older women to return-not just an issue of reducing early retirement.

7 Time and job quality End to long hours culture- end to opt out- to facilitate working in full-time jobs and/or facilitate part-time working in high end jobs Promote employee-oriented flexibility/ reduce uncertainty over working hours- e.g. rights to notice over change in working hours Security not just flexibility

8 Job quality to enhance access to resources Reduce the pay penalty for working at the bottom of the job hierarchy- e.g. higher minimum wages benefit women Promote integration not fragmentation of the wage system- e.g. outsourcing disadvantages women, end pay differential for agency workers Allow equal pay cases that compare across organisational borders, up and down supply chains Develop collective bargaining along the supply chain Ensure pension reforms do not penalise discontinuous careers/ shorter working hours in prime age Develop universal not selective pension systems

9 Fight discrimination through change to workplace and occupational cultures Make women’s skills visible - professionalize women’s work-to end undervaluation Change workplace culture- end to harassment, men only networking, long hours culture- to improve recruitment, retention and promotion Ensure work-life balance policies open up new opportunities, not new forms of segregation and marginalisation

10 Household/ family position: stopping the treatment of women as economic dependants. Need to end household-based benefits as well as tax- disincentives to second income earners from in-work benefits etc. Provide paid parental leave to encourage men to participate and to promote women's economic independence (by maintaining income and facilitating continuity) Socialise rather than privatise childcare costs for lower earners. Recognise changes to household formation over life course and promote women's economic independence to reduce risk of poverty.

11 Role of EU acquis in this policy agenda: some priorities. Hard law Remove working time opt out Extend equal pay comparisons Provide for paid parental leave Pass temporary agency workers' directive Provide new rights to work flexibly and to return to full-time work Withdraw exemption from equal treatment with respect to defined contribution pension schemes. Strengthen rights to fair pay e.g. in public procurement

12 Role of EU acquis in this policy agenda: some priorities Soft law Put job quality back as a key priority Insist on security not just flexibility Require action plans to be gender mainstreamed (again) Include inactive ( and not just benefit recipients) in ALMPs and lifelong learning Promote childcare for all and address affordability Extend policies on older workers to include (voluntary) re-entry of inactive women. Promote change at the workplace- to culture and practices Insist on individual approaches to benefits/ removing disincentives from second income earners

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