Full text: Beschäftigungspolitik (72)

Counterproductive side effects may, however, excert a negative employ-
ment effect: These result mainly from the deterioration of international com-
petitiveness of businesses and the ensuing - depending on the individual eco-
nomic fields - shift of the costs onto prices. A further general prerequisite for
a positive employment effect is a relative homogeneity of the labour market
segment; in case of a segregated labour market (e.g. scarcity of ski lied labour),
no positive employment effect can be expected due to a lack of labour supply.
The problem of a reduction of working time is consequently best left in the
competency of the collective bargaining partners and no general proceeding is
to be taken for the time being. This does not, however, prec1ude a reduction of
working hours on branch and company level. Thus in certain cases shorter
working hours on company level in combination with flexible working hours
may help to prevent a reduction of personnel ("VW model") or even create
additional employment.
The reduction of regular overtime would constitute another aspect in the
reduction of working hours. If overtime is not used to cover occasional extra
workload but is performed on a permanent basis, from an employment per-
spective this overtime should be reduced and replaced by new hirings, pro-
vided this is a viable commercial proposition.
New variants of the distribution of labour are discussed in the next chapter.
2.2.4. Models 0/Distributing Labour to Create More Employment
The Advisory Council mainly concentrated on two concrete models of a
"redistribution" of labour: Job rotation - temporary replacement of an em·
ployee on leave by an unemployed person - and part-time work.
Models aiming at a reduction of working hours in favour of increased lei-
sure time for the individual may positively affect motivation, sick leave, pro-
ductivity and finally the length of working life. Possible counterproductive ef·
fects such as an increase of illicit work in the acquired leisure time would have
to be investigated and appropriate countermeasures would have to be taken if
necessary. Possible savings in the unemployment insurance could be used,
through a re-allocation of the resources, for active measures like further train-
ing, promotion of employment or possibly also contribution reductions.
The Advisory Council recommends to intensify and test the following pos-
sibilities in limited model studies and pilot projects and to study their effects in
consultation with the social partners.
2.2.4.1. Job Rotation Models - Educational Leave
Sabbaticals and other forms of job rotation become increasingly important
instruments of labour market policy throughout Europe and can be used in the
placement of labour to secure a weil functioning labour market. In this con-
nection, the needs of employees, the unemployed and employers must be
equally taken into account.
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