Towards new balances between flexibility and security
Research area 3:
The term 'the Danish model' has been supplemented in recent years by a the term of 'the Danish flexicurity model'. Flexicurity describes a combination of limited job protection, generous welfare provisions and an active labour market policy. Although flexicurity can also be viewed as an expression of other dynamics between flexibility and security in labour market regulation. The central issue is the development in the collective bargaining system, where welfare subjects such as pensions, training, maternity and paternity leave‚ etc. provide a greater security for those covered by the sectoral agreements. At the same time the widespread decentralisation of negotiations provides opportunities for flexibility in the way work is organised at the individual company. This development has been taking place over the last two decades; the question is now what will characterise the future development of the balances between flexibility and security in the collective bargaining system.
By using flexicurity as an analytical concept it is possible to focus on the content of the regulation (e.g. which rules are valid and how do they work) while questions pertaining to the processes behind the regulation (who formulates the rules and how do the parties agree on them) have so far played less of a role in the flexicurity debate. The questions about the processes, however, are critical to understanding flexicurity.
At international level, research will revolve around the follow-up on the joint European principles of flexicurity which were adopted in 2007. At national level, research will deal with the shiftings there has been in the balances between flexibility and security that result from the re-negotiation of collective bargaining agreements and amendments to legislation. Also the processes of learning among the European member states will be of importance. Another central issue will be the relationship between the national and the local level. At local level, the focus will be on the trade-offs between employees and employers at the companies and research will be conducted into the significance of trust between the parties.
Research Area 3 is divided into three project themes. See the individual projects within each of these project themes: