- and the possibility for individual arrangements through a broad spectrum of variants to chose from (from daily reductions to weekly, monthly up to annual units of leisure time) To increase the employment level the Advisory Council therefore recom- mends to intensify the access to part-time employment under the pre- conditions mentioned above. The social partners on company level are there- fore called upon to create and work out possibilities for parHime employment attractive for both employer and employee. Models linking part-time work with partial benefits out of the social secu- rity system (e.g. flexible retirement, part time parental leave) should also be discussed with regard to their employment effects. The possibility of flexible retirement, available in Austria but only rarely cJaimed, is to be reconsidered in view of the low factual retirement age. 2.2.5. Working Time and Employment in lndustry and Trade The wish for more attractive working time schemes for employer and em- ployee together with the necessity of strengthening the competitiveness hith- erto often resulted in - partially not legally founded - agreements on working time regulations between management and works council. The Advisory Council therefore welcomes the legal possibilities of flexible working time agreed between the social partners and recommends the rapid implementation of regulations on collective bargaining level taking into ac- count the tlexibilization needs of both sides and guaranteeing a fair accommo- dation of conflicting interests. 2.2.6. Employment Effects through Libera/ization ofShop Hours The liberalization of shop hours that went hand in hand with a legal protec- tion of quality of leisure time of the employees, should enable an increase in the employment level in trade, particularly through part-time jobs. The number of persons employed in trade increased in the first three months of 1997 by 6,575 persons (+ 2.9%) compared to the same period of last year, thus stopping the negative trend (the comparison January 1995 - January 1996 still showed a reduction of 0.56%). Particularly the bigger retail- ing chains in preferred shopping areas and shopping centers led here. How- ever, over 2/3 (4,447) of this increase are so-ca lied "geringftlgig Beschäftigte" (marginally employed: employees working no more than 8 hours per week and eaming no more than a certain amount per month, thus being excJuded from social security), the rest of 2,128 are both full-time and part-time employees. An evaluation of the net employment effect will therefore also have to take into account possible undesired effects through this liberalization such as in- voluntary regression into part-time jobs below subsistence level, division of full-time jobs into marginally employed and undermination of the financial base ofthe social insurance through marginal employments. 28