Signs of segmentation? A flexicurity perspective on decentralized collective bargaining in Denmark – University of Copenhagen

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07 May 2012

Signs of segmentation? A flexicurity perspective on decentralized collective bargaining in Denmark

Article by Anna Ilsøe

This article addresses the contribution of decentralized collective bargaining to the development of different forms of flexicurity for different groups of employees on the Danish labour market. Based on five case studies of company-level bargaining on flexible working hours in Danish industry, it is argued that decentralized bargaining has enabled new balances between flexibility and security to develop for many but not all groups of employees. On the one hand, the company-level agreements on flexible working hours facilitate greater efficiency and employee satisfaction that often goes beyond the text of the agreements. On the other hand, less flexible employees often face difficulties in meeting the demands of the agreements and may ultimately be forced to leave the company and rely on unemployment benefits and active labour market policies. In a flexicurity perspective, this development seems to imply a segmentation of the Danish workforce regarding hard and soft versions of flexicurity.

Article in Economic and Industrial Democracy, vol. 33, no. 2, May 2012.