Full text: Beschäftigungspolitik (72)

2.2./. Decoupling of Production Time and Working Time
Positive effects on employment by anational decoupling of production time
and working time are to be expected, if the demand for a product is relatively
price elastic. When costs and prices decrease, demand rises. If such measures
are taken not only on national but on intemationallevel, the positive effects on
employment will be lower. Demand will react less elastically if all producers
reduce prices simultaneously than if individual suppliers gain market shares
through price reductions.
Yet, from a dynamic point of view, a general non-sector-specific decou·
pling of production and working times, the increasing output-capital ratio and
the pressure for "capital deepening" will temporarily promote the propensity to
invest, If the positive demand·effect of these investments outweigh the capac-
ity-effect (and the potential subsequent rationalization effects), a positive net-
effect on employment may be the result in the medium-term. Moreover, a
higher level of employment could be achieved even with the same capital
stock (with given investments).
Longer production times, as a competitive measure, in certain enterprises or
branches are particularly necessary, when international companies are offered
a considerably higher output-capital ratio through the decoupling of produc-
tion and working times in other countries with similar production conditions as
Austria. From the employment point of view the Advisory Council therefore
recommends the decoupling of production and working times particularly for
branches with capital-intensive production so as to make possible cost and
price reductions, while preserving the legitimate interests ofthe employed.
2.2.2. Adjustment ofWorking Hours to Production F/uctuations
In those fields where flexibility represents a decisive competition-related
quality dimension for the demand by consumers or enterprises, the adjustment
ofthe working time to production fluctuations can constitute a useful measure.
The Advisory Council therefore recommends to take into account employ·
ment effects when implementing the new possibilities of compensating fluc-
tuations of the order volume through adjustment of the working time to pro-
duction fluctuations. Positive employment effects can be expected in particular
when overtime and extratime are being reduced and when the leave can be
taken in blocks. The practical implementation must be decided upon by the
social partners at enterprise or supra-enterprise level.
2.2.3. Reduction ofWorking Time
A reduction of the regular working hours theoretically allows for a distri-
bution of the available amount of work amongst more people. Particularly in
view of the increasing output·capital ratio due to constant technical progress
this possibility will continue to be part ofthe repertory ofworking time poliey.

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