Digitization is fundamentally changing the world of work. Flexible employment and employment conditions are increasingly gaining ground and raising social issues that affect politics and social partners.
These challenges, however, can be mastered with targeted measures. This is of key importance to the Swiss economy because flexible employment - also shortened to "flexwork" - can provide a significant part of additional labor needs. In the white paper Flexwork and social protection, swissstaffing, leading association of Swiss personnel service providers, examined the social security of flexible working people - "flexworkers" - in various forms of work.
Temporary work as a pioneer in social protection
A comparison of social protection in different employment situations shows: In the temporary work form, flexworkers are very well protected in the case of illness, accident, unemployment and old age. And in terms of training, temporary workers are often even better served than permanent employees.
"When it comes to temporary work, Switzerland is well-acquainted with it and has long combined flexibility and social security," explains Myra Fischer-Rosinger, Director of swissstaffing. Complex labor market regulation and the lack of a simple digital signature discourage online platforms from taking on employer responsibility. "That's why regulations for flexible forms of work should not become even more complex, so flexwork can evolve into a progressive form of work."
A cherished desire of all ages
Based on a survey of 4,000 temporary workers, swissstaffing examined the motives of flexworkers. The results?
"Young, independent employees often consciously choose flexible work. However, with a minimum of 31 percent, the need to work flexibly is widespread across all age groups," explains Marius Osterfeld, economist at swissstaffing. Their most common motives are a better work-life balance (44%) and career change (39%). Other temporary workers use the flexible form of employment in order to reorient themselves in the labor market and as a bridge to permanent employment. They are financially supported by the equal pay fund temptraining.
What the labor market needs for the future is a culture that accepts flexible working and the dynamic shift between different forms of employment. And it needs a social protection system that protects workers against the basic risks, regardless of their form of employment, and promotes lifelong education and training. Thankfully, for temporary workers, such a system has already been developed.
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