labour flexibility

labour flexibility

the ability of a firm to modify the employment and utilization of its labour force in the face of changing labour and product market conditions.

Several forms of labour flexibility can be identified:

  1. numerical flexibility, where the level and type of employment can be varied. For instance, PART-TIME WORK and TEMPORARY WORK can enable the employer to adjust the size of the labour force;
  2. functional flexibility, where the utilization of employees can be varied. Here the employer seeks to remove DEMARCATION LINES and RESTRICTIVE LABOUR PRACTICES so that, in theory at least, workers can perform a greater range of tasks. Further TRAINING may be necessary to achieve this;
  3. temporal flexibility, where the hours of work can be varied so as to match them to production or operations requirements.

    Use of part-time work, COMPRESSED HOURS and ANNUAL HOURS systems may assist this;

  4. financial flexibility, where levels of payment to employees can be varied in line with changes in profitability or individual performance. See PROFIT-RELATED PAY, MERIT PAY.

Firms require some degree of flexibility because of the inherent uncertainty of markets. However, it has arguably become more necessary in recent years because of intensifying competition in product markets. A firm which achieves flexibility in most or all of the dimensions above may be described as a ‘flexible firm’. Such a firm would be composed of a core workforce of functionally flexible, well-paid employees and a peripheral workforce of numerically flexible PART-TIME WORKERS and temporal workers. Labour flexibility is usually viewed as a benefit to management; however, it can also benefit employees when it enables them to fit in paid employment with other (for example, domestic) commitments. See FLEXIBLE SPECIALIZATION, FLEXITIME, TEMPORARY WORK.

Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
References in periodicals archive ?
In return, national governments had to impose sweeping public spending cuts, tax rises and labour flexibility reforms.Those governments who resisted were replaced by unelected technocrats acceptable to the "troika".
For example, 'Labour flexibility' refers to the ability of firms to swiftly vary the quantity and quality of labour inputs according to the fluctuations in demand for the product or service and according to the opportunities offered by the technological environment.
De Vito on the importance of the concepts of labour flexibility and labour precariousness to the historical study of labour relations, are useful and enlightening.
The value that qualified must be more than equal to 1.96 so that it can be said that the work life balance has a partial mediating of labour flexibility to the loyalty of workers with a background in the millennial generation startup companies in Indonesia.
Therefore, firms with six or less employees have the most labour flexibility. As expansion of firms comes with high legislative costs in India, it is rational for them to remain small.
Like Moody's, SandP welcomed measures to improve the business climate, labour flexibility and the energy sector.
It also gives employers the labour flexibility they need, and removes the cost pressures of hiring someone on a fixed-hours contract, as they cannot be sure that there will be work available during a certain period of time.
SEZ as a vehicle for exports should be restored, and benefits such as MAT exemption, labour flexibility and others must be instituted.
Whereas most explanations of industrial conflict in the industry have focused on the distinctive character of workers and unions, O'Leary and Sheldon examine employer strategies, ownership patterns and relations between large and smaller employers, depicting successive waves of employer strategic choice which end, as in the processes outlined by Fairbrother et al, in a period of labour flexibility, cost minimisation and individualised employment relationships, and efforts to marginalise unions and tighten workforce discipline.
In 2010, Fiat released a five-year, 16 billion euros ($21 billion) investment plan for Italy demanding in return greater labour flexibility. However the investments have been postponed as domestic car sales slumped to their lowest levels in 40 years.
Keywords: Cross-functional training, hotel, labour flexibility, line supervisors, Taiwan
The paradigm entails a set of core policies that stress the importance of free trade and capital markets, financial liberalization, reduced role of the state to administer social programmes and to tax corporate wealth, along with privatization, deregulation, competitiveness, labour flexibility, and protection of corporate property rights.