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
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
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.
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 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 `fördern 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.