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A new labour market segmentation approach

This book presents new theories and international empirical evidence on the state of work and employment around the world. Changes in production systems, economic conditions and regulatory conditions are posing new questions about the growing use by employers of precarious forms of work, the contradictory approaches of governments towards employment and social policy, and the ability of trade unions to improve the distribution of decent employment conditions. Designed as a tribute to the highly influential contributions of Jill Rubery, the book proposes a ‘new labour market segmentation approach’ for the investigation of issues of job quality, employment inequalities, and precarious work. This approach is distinctive in seeking to place the changing international patterns and experiences of labour market inequalities in the wider context of shifting gender relations, regulatory regimes and production structures.

favoured insiders over outsiders.’ In Italy, the increasing dualism of the labour market has been depicted as an insider–outsider problem, created by the ‘excessive’ protection of standard employment relations. Consequently, the recent legislation aimed at reducing the regulation of the labour market has been presented as a necessary step towards greater equality. The second issue relates to the search for viable models to address the challenges of technological change in a globalised and competitive environment. Here again, the decade-long stagnation of Italian

in Making work more equal

and Quack, 2003). When applied to labour market organisation, this stresses the idea that labour supply and demand are the result not of the application of abstract economic norms, but of mutually interlocking spheres of social structuring of the opportunities and constraints facing work organisation and workers (see Rubery, 1992). Essentially, societal institutionalism argues that capitalism is embedded at a national–societal level in mutually reinforcing and interlocking ‘spheres’ of political economy, in ways which create national ‘logics’ of employment relations

in Making work more equal
Introduction and overview

employment and quality of work more equal. Various fiscal, labour market and social policy reforms risk creating or increasing inequalities, expanding precarious forms of employment and exacerbating the social exclusion of vulnerable workforce groups. Such reforms include the marginalisation of organised labour through changes to industrial relations, the marketisation and outsourcing of public services, the weakening of employment rights, cuts to welfare entitlements, and the privatisation of responsibilities for family and care provision. Moreover, employers may also

in Making work more equal
An instituted economic process approach

–distribution–production configuration. reflected in the emergence of supermarket own-label products. The third raises the question of how the organisation of retail markets, and their transformation, alter the way demand is instituted as between end consumer and retailer. Withering wholesale Covent Garden market provides an excellent example of the evolution of markets as a process of reconfiguring demand–supply relations over the long duration (Braudel, 1982), although altogether exceptional for its dominant metropolitan position and heightened significance as an import market of global produce

in Innovation by demand
The dualist and complex role of the state in Spanish labour and employment relations in an age of ‘flexibility’

labour and employment relations needs to be broadened. What is more, equal opportunities approaches must be more clearly linked to systems of labour market organisation, policy and public discourses (Fagan and Rubery, 1996; Rubery and Fagan, 1995). While trade unions have involved groups such as migrants through various social inclusion strategies – in some cases with the help of state resources – the overall system of welfare and social service support has been constrained and uneven. We need to comprehend that these economic and social regulatory characteristics

in Making work more equal
Implications for jobs and inequality

have grown. The greater use of business strategies that re-allocate workers across networked organisations has important implications for employment relations and for wages, job quality and inequality.1 More than a decade ago, in a series of important essays written with colleagues,  Jill Rubery drew attention to the blurring of firm boundaries and the fragmenting of work in the UK. Rubery was already a leading scholar of labour  market flexibility and the rise of temporary and contingent jobs in  Europe.  In the research on the fragmentation of work, she moved

in Making work more equal
Theories and evidence

delivered lower costs and easier dismissal procedures have not altered employers’ preference for temporary employment (Toharia, 2005; Toharia, 2011). As we explain in the next section, temporary employment is a resource that is part of a larger and Labour segmentation and precariousness in Spain 137 more complex raft of labour management practices, which aim to minimise labour costs and contribute to a dismantling of Spain’s industrial relations model. An alternative view of segmentation: new and old dynamics Although rather discreet, labour market segmentation

in Making work more equal
The effects of gender, households and ethnicity

have focused on supply-side characteristics as those requiring a change of attitude on the part of either the young person or their family and peers. Yet Humphries and Rubery’s sphere of social reproduction could be extended to encompass the way in which households and gender relations support transitions into employment from the educational system. In fact, very little attention has been given to providing a systematic comparison of how the characteristics of parental households are associated with youth labour market transitions (Berloffa et al., 2015), or the

in Making work more equal

lubricate fairer voice on a voluntary basis continue to figure prominently in LMEs. Examples include Acas in the UK and the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in Ireland,1 both of which publish codes of practice and information sheets, as well as run seminars for practitioners which can be seen to promote fairer systems for voice. For example, Stuart and colleagues (2011) demonstrate how Acas officials played a key role in helping to support partnership and workplace cooperation. Moreover, because they Challenges for fair voice in liberal market economies 97 build

in Making work more equal