Both the U.S. and U.K. rank among the oldest and most sophisticated staffing markets with relatively few restrictions on contingent work. But the level of regulations and social acceptance can vary significantly country to country.
Regulation of contingent work tends to move in line with market development, according to Annemarie Muntz, president of Eurociett and board member of the International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (Ciett). Contingent work tends to enjoy a better image and regulations tend to be more appropriate in more mature markets.
In a recent presentation on trends in the global staffing market, Muntz outlined steps in a country’s transition from an unregulated market for contingent labor to a market where there’s full recognition of contingent labor:
- No regulation/illegality/grey zone. “Hostility and rejection of this new form of work relationship.” Examples of countries include Russia, Pakistan and Venezuela.
- Local recognition. “Containment of an unpopular industry, as a last resort human resources provider often combined with heavy restrictions.” Examples include Argentina, Brazil, China and South Africa.
- Social tolerance. Work through temporary staffing firms “accepted by unions/NGOs if properly regulated.” Examples include Japan, Germany, Italy and Spain.
- Normative acceptance. “Useful tool for labor market policies combined with [public employment services – private employment services] cooperation.” Examples include Canada, France and Belgium.
- Social acceptance. Working through staffing firms “as an acceptable work alternative, no real restrictions.” Examples include the U.S., U.K. and Australia.
- Full recognition.
The steps follow closely to a report by Staffing Industry Analysts on market complexity. The U.S., U.K., Canada, New Zealand and Hong Kong ranked among the least complex markets for staffing to operate.
The most complex included Argentina, Greece, Italy, Brazil and Russia.
Staffing Industry Analysts’ ranking took into account staffing market maturity, regulatory efficiency, employment law burden, labor market efficiency, trade union influence, political stability/corruption, ability to enforce contracts, pricing environments, independent contractor environment and MSP/VMS maturity.