Poland’s 'trash' job contracts 'tilt the level playing field': Polish economist

The creation of “a dual labour market,” in which being “lucky enough” to have an employment contract “tilts the level playing field” touted by economic liberals but not existing in reality, Dr Wojtek Paczos of Cardiff University tells Poland IN.

Between 30 and 40 percent of Polish people are working on what is described as ‘trash contracts,” which are non-standard employment forms, giving less long term job security.

“Liberals like to think of the labour market as a level playing field, where everyone has the same treatment and the same chance of succeeding,” he told PolandIN’s David Kennedy.

Having a situation where some people are employed as freelancers and others are given temporary contracts - mostly young people is ‘tilting the level playing field.”

The British-based Polish academic agreed that the legislation which had been introduced over recent years to encourage employers to shift their staff onto permanent contracts had been partially successful. He said however that it has not yet made much of a dent on the figures or affected the main mechanisms.

A study of the Spanish economy showed that in the long run, companies suffered and overall economic growth was lower when employers did not give their employees permanent contracts. “Two‐Tier Labour Markets in the Great Recession: France Versus Spain” by Bentolola, Cuhac and LeBarbanchon showed that if Spain had protected permanent job status as France had done, its unemployment growth after the 2008 crisis would have avoided nearly half of the subsequent job losses, when its unemployment rose from 8 percent to 23 percent.

The short-termism of modern management incentive schemes in large listed firms, which push for rapid growth, cutting corners on factors such as research and development, and investment in human resources, is partially to blame, according to the study.

Click here to watch the full interview.