Excessive use of non-Labour Code employment forms is a symptom, not a cause of the ailments of the Polish labour market – writes economic expert of Employers of Poland Łukasz Kozłowski in “Rzeczpospolita”.
He underlines that although the stigmatizing notion of “waste contracts” has a rather short history – Google Trends shows that it entered in common use in September 2011 – problems of civil contract abuses and a decreasing employment stability have intensified over a longer period of time.
– Excessive use of non-Labour Code employment forms is only a symptom , not a cause of the ailments of the Polish labour market. The causes of the problems are to be found in a significant variation is fiscal, legal and bureaucratic burdens related to the employment forms currently in force. The duality of the Polish labour market is a danger not to be underestimated. This leads to a situation where employees are divided into superior and inferior. As the costs of letting the former are higher, when companies reduce employment, it is the latter group that suffers – assesses Kozlowski.
He also points out that for the reasons mentioned above companies are less willing to invest in developing the skills of employees on civil contracts.
Moreover, as these people tend to have longer periods of unemployment between jobs, they often have a harder time finding permanent work. – This is a vicious circle which consolidates already existing divisions. This would not be the case if currently available employment forms were more similar – he adds.
However, Kozłowski stresses that unifying all contracts in terms of restrictiveness with contracts of employment in their current form would be the worst way to tackle the problem. When labour law is excessively restrictive, employers will think twice before they employ people. – If I do not know if I find enough clients and generate enough income, how would I know if I can afford to employ someone? – asks Kozłowski.
According to the expert of Employers of Poland, in order to change the dual nature of the labour market and, in turn, improve the situation of hundreds of thousands of people who do not have as much as basic protection, a compromise of sorts has to be found.
In his opinion, removing some of the regulations which are most bothersome for employers and restricting excessive imposition of taxes and obligatory contributions on income from jobs, we can change the situation so that more employees will enjoy the rights provided by the Labour Code. Promoting civil contracts in public procurements should also end. A good instrument to achieve this goal could be social clauses.
– Appropriate legal regulations should protect employees and not their jobs. The destruction of jobs, to be succeeded by new ones – more productive, better paid and more interesting – is an inseparable part of the process of economic growth. A sense of security is best provided by being sure that a new job can be found, should the current one be lost. If there are too many obstacles to reductions consolidate unemployment and labour market segmentation. Identifying pathologies is clearly justified, but we should not throw the baby out with the bathwater – concludes Kozłowski.