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Randstad publishes flexibility@work report

Randstad has published its flexibility@work 2014 report, including a new study into the undeclared economy conducted by the University of Sheffield and Regioplan Policy Research.

The report reveals the important role that well- regulated flexible employment solutions can play in tackling the undeclared economy.  

Undeclared work is a huge problem in economies around the world. Out of a global working population of some 3 billion, almost two-thirds (some 1.8 billion) work in the undeclared economy. It is generally acknowledged that the undeclared economy lowers the quality of work and working conditions, undermines the business environment through unfair competition, and puts the financial sustainability of social protection systems at risk.  

“The report clearly shows a need for more proactive labor market polic ies to lift unjustified restrictions on temporary agency work,” says Jacques van de Broek, CEO of Randstad. “In order for businesses and economies to remain innovative and competitive in today’s environment, flexibility will be imperative. The whole debate about whether or not we want to allow flexible labor is misplaced. Rather, the discussion should center on how it can best be regulated to create a win - win situation for both businesses and workers.”  

The flexibility@work report shows that in advanced economies the size of the undeclared economy varies widely – from less than 10% in countries such as the US, the UK, Japan and the Netherlands, to more than 25% in parts of Southern and Eastern Europe. Countries with a smaller undeclared economy are typically those in which it is easier for companies to resort to temporary employment to meet labor demands. At the same time, these countries also provide a social safety net in the form of labor market policies that protect and support vulnerable groups of workers. Apparently, by creating the right environment in which temporary work agencies play a significant role, these relatively successful economies reduce the supply and demand of undeclared work by providing both employers and workers with better alternatives.  

The full report can be downloaded here. 

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