labour-market flexibility

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A term used to refer to all or some of a variety of features of particular jobs, or of the labour-market as a whole, including: reduced demarcations between categories of worker and flexible job descriptions; the fluidity of workers’ movement between jobs, employers, or regions; flexible or non-standard work hours; flexibility of wages; and any other innovation in the organization of employment and patterns of work, such as home-based work, or telecommuting. In this context, wage flexibility more often means wages that rise or fluctuate in line with company profits and financial performance, than the adoption of incentive payment schemes. The concept of flexibility is often laden with positive value-judgements and counterpoised to the notion of labour-market ‘rigidities’, which are regarded as self-evidently noxious in periods of rapid technological change and economic instability. See also flexible employment.

Subjects: Sociology.

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