New books


Contractualism in employment services

A new form of welfare state governance

Els Sol og Mies Westerveld

Kluwer Law International 2005. 412 s. ISBN 9041124055

For the modern welfare state support for those who are `out of work through no fault of their own remains a foundation stone. Now, however, under pressure form market-driven ideology focused on business performance, its composition and the way support is delivered is in a state of flux. With the avowed objective of minimizing dependence on social benefits and increasing labour market efficiency, many national policies with varying degrees of thoroughness are shifting from a bureaucratic approach to some form of contract arrangement that demands a higher level of personal responsibility from the unemployed worker. The contractualisation process is usually administered through a `reintegration service that may be partly or wholly privatised.

This remarkable book is the first comparative in-depth study of the process of contractualisation. It offers seventeen penetrating analyses, by leading labour market and labour law authorities, of recent policy initiatives to activate employment by contract and the implications of these initiatives from both legal and a socioeconomic perspective. Among the issue explored are the following:

motivation, mobility, and flexibility in the labour market;
effect of contractualisation on public accountability and responsibility;
effect on the individual s statutory relationship under social security;
whether and to what extent the conditions on which one country successfully introduces contractualisation apply to other countries; and,
the unemployed individual as `contract partner : what conditions can he or she set?
The analyses focus on experience with contracts as service deliverance in the labour markets of eight countries: Australia, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, and Finland.

Because a certain measure of experience has already been built up by governments, providers, and clients, now is the time to try and learn form good as well as bad practices in order to build coherent institutional frameworks to help the unemployed. This book is sure to bring insight and effectiveness to the work of professionals, officials, and politicians in this policy field, and will be of special practical value to labour law practitioners, academic researchers and libraries, trade unions, policymakers, and corporate counsel.

Table of Contents

Preface. Acknowledgements. List of contributors. Part 1. Contractualism. 1. Contractualism in employment services: A socio-economic perspective; H. Mosley, E. Sol. 2. Contractualism: A legal perspective; E. Eichenhofer, M. Westerveld. Part II. Country Studies. Australia. 3. The reform that never ends: quasi-markets and employment services in Australia; M. Considine. 4. United States. Toward a contractual welfare state? The case of work activation in the US; E. Brodkin. 5. United Kingdom. The role of contracts and the private sector in delivering Britain s `employment first welfare state; D. Finn. 6. Client Contractualism between the Employment Service and jobseekers in the United Kingdom; M. Freeland, D. King. The Netherlands. 7. Marketisation of employment services in the Netherlands; E. Sol, Y. Hoogtanders. 8. Client contracting in social security in the Netherlands; M. Westerveld, K. Faber. Germany. 9. New delivery forms of employment services in Germany; Setup of a mixed public-private model? R. Konle Seidle. 10. New private delivery arrangements in Germany: An initial evaluation using new institutional economics; O. Bruttel. 11. Contracting between social services and their clients in the German concept of `f rdern und fordern (promoting and demanding); I. Ebsen. France. 12. Embedding contractualism in national institutions: performance contracting in the French Public Employment Service; J. C. Barbier. 13. Formal contracting with operations in France: A technical approach with higher political stakes today; B. Simonin. 14. Contracts and new commitments in the French unemployment legislation; N. Kerchen. Belgium. 15. The problem of agency at organisational and at street level: The case of the Flemish public employment service; K. Verhoest, L. Struyven. Finland. 16. Contractualism in the Finnish activation policy; M. Sakslin, E. Keskitalo. Part III. Conclusions. 17. Contractualism: some concluding remarks E. Sol, M. Westerveld. Index.