The Role of Temporary Agency Work and Labour Market Transitions in Europe

Institutional frameworks, empirical evidence, good practice and the impact of social dialogue

Voss E, Vitols K, Farvaque N, Broughton A, Behling F, Dota F, Leonardi S, Naedenoen F |   | Eurociett | Feb 2013

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As part of their joint sectoral social dialogue work programme, Eurociett and UNI Europa aimed to improve the knowledge and gather qualitative as well as quantitative data on how temporary agency work caould contribute to facilitating transitions in the labour market, thereby fostering progression in the career paths of agency workers in line with the concept of 'making transitions pay'.

More concretely, the aim of the analysis that the social partners in the temporary agency work sector commissioned was to obtain quantitative as well as qualitative data and information on the following key questions:

  • What is the role of temporary agency work and the sectoral social partners in facilitating sideward and upward transitions in the labour market for agency workers?
  • What is the profile of temporary agency workers?
  • What are the evolution and progression patterns of the agency workers in the labour market?
  • What are the working conditions of agency workers? And how the social partners can improve them?
  • What are the sectoral initiatives set up by the social partners to improve quality of transitions, such as temporary agency work sectoral social partners’ jointly managed training funds, social funds or pension funds for temporary agency workers)? National case studies were identified and studied as best practices.

This study was carried out by an international team of experts coordinated by Wilke, Maack and Partner in order to facilitate these objectives and was a result of a tender that the social partners issued in December 2011.

Preliminary results of this study were presented to a stakeholders’ meeting with representatives of social partner organisations from the temporary agency work sector across Europe as well as from European institutions and the academic world.

Preliminary results were also presented and discussed at a Social Dialogue Committee meeting in June 2012.The final results of the project were presented and discussed at a European conference on 19th December 2012 in Brussels where UNI Europa and Eurociett also agreed on joint 'Recommendations on temporary agency work facilitating transitions in the labour market' that are included in this final study report.