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Labour Market Policies in the Era of Pervasive AusterityA European Perspective$
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Sotiria Theodoropoulou

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447335863

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447335863.001.0001

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French employment market policies: dualisation and destabilisation

French employment market policies: dualisation and destabilisation

(p.91) Five French employment market policies: dualisation and destabilisation
Labour Market Policies in the Era of Pervasive Austerity

Hélène Caune

Sotiria Theodoropoulou

Policy Press

In this chapter explores whether the direction of labour market reforms in France has changed since 2010 by comparison with the previous two decades. It looks into broad labour market policy areas, namely, income support for the unemployed, active labour market policies and employment protection legislation before and after 2009 and asks the following questions. What form has retrenchment taken under the recent fiscal pressures and how has it been distributed across these policy domains? Has the emphasis of active labour market policy instruments changed? How have policy changes affected insiders and outsiders in the labour market? It is shown that during economic crisis and the subsequent fiscal austerity period there were no paradigmatic changes in French labour market policies, which continued to develop along a path pursued since the early 2000s. Successive governments, both centre-right and centre-left, have implemented flexicurity à la française, with a focus on flexibility at the expense of security. External flexibility – firms’ ability to hire and dismiss workers – has been developed for both core workers and more precarious forms of employment (temporary work). Furthermore, new measures also introduced important changes in the field of internal flexibility (working-time organisation, wages).

Keywords:   Labour market reforms, France, Flexicurity, External flexibility, Internal flexibility, Active labour market policies, Unemployment benefits, Labour market segmentation, Insiders-Outsiders

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