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Europe — Flexible working arrangements widespread across Europe

08 March 2010

The latest European Company Survey carried out among 27,000 public and private companies across Europe by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) maps out work practices considered to be important elements of contractual and functional flexibility in an organisation.

More than half (56%) of companies in Europe offer some kind of flexitime arrangements, and over-time work is used to handle workload peaks in more than two thirds of (68%) companies, in particularly in Germany, the Netherlands, the Nordic countries, Ireland, France and the UK. Fixed-term employment contracts are widely used, with more than half (54%) of all establishments having at least one employee on a fixed-term contract in the last 12 months.

In a considerable proportion of establishments all over Europe, employees work in non-permanent contractual arrangements as temporary agency workers, freelancers or employees on fixed-term contracts with large regional variations regarding the use of the different forms. The proportion of the workforce affected by non-permanent contractual arrangements is, however, relatively small in all countries.

Three out of four establishments indicate that the need for further training is periodically checked in a systematic way. However, training is not equally distributed among all workers. While almost two out of three establishments (64%) check the need for further training in a systematic way for permanent employees in skilled or high-skilled positions, only about every second enterprise (52%) does this for permanent employees in low-skilled or unskilled positions. In other words, permanent staff have much better access to training than temporary staff.

To read the full survey please click here (n.b. File has 5.6mb so may take some time to download)



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