Flexicurity 2nd generation - mobility

In a mobile labour market, employees are allowed and encouraged to move freely in search of jobs both across occupations, companies, sectors and geographically without barriers and without losing rights.

This facilitates a smooth transition of the employees to workplaces where their competences are most in demand and thus rewarded.

And it ensures companies’ access to a continuous pool of manpower.

Voluntary job mobility

In Denmark, we have over time worked to build a mobile labour market – where voluntary job mobility is pivotal.

Every year, 300.000 jobs are created and 300.000 jobs are cut. On average every Dane holds 6 jobs within the span of a career. And the Danish labour market is internationally renowned for having a high degree of job turn over.

Within the last year 540.000 people out of a working age population of 2.8 million Danes changed jobs. Obviously, there has been a slight decrease due to the present economic hardship – but it remains a high number, compared to the booming years where 700.000 Danes changed jobs yearly.

Pathways to a mobile labour market

One way of achieving mobile labour markets is to allow employees to acquire contractual rights that are linked to the employee, and not to the company. This is done by ensuring that the employer is obliged to fulfil the contractual obligations towards the employees while the employee is still working for the specific employer.

For the employee, this means secure and mobile rights. For companies, this means a continuous access to manpower.

With secure and mobile right, employees are not discouraged to search for a new job inside and outside a company. When changing job or company, they will simply take the earned rights with them and thereby they will not lose accumulated rights or lose out financially. This ensures that transition in the labour market pays.

In Denmark, we have gradually through our labour market agreements strived to create and underpin a mobile labour market, and in particular voluntary job mobility:

Also in the employment policies, an attempt has been made to achieve mobile labour markets:

Christina Sode Haslund
22. december 2011
Examples of a mobile labour marketFlexicurity articles & reportsDynamicsOpenness