The labour laws provide protection for the relationship between the workers and the employers. Laws of contract formed the legal basis for protection of workers. The employment contract provided protection to the full-time employees (Casale, 2011). However, those workers without any contractual relationship remained unprotected during the engagement with their employers. Workers are protected against unfair dismissal and are expected to continue working for the same organization permanently or seasonally and they have right to join trade unions.
The standard work arrangement remained in force until 1970s when global economic changes brought forth intense competition and uncertainty between enterprises (Barnard et. al., 2004, p.46). Employment was regulated by restrictive employment protection legislation and collective agreement between workers unions and the employers in the post-war Europe (Blanpain & Baker, 2010). Due to intense global market pressure firms started pushing for larger profits and flexibility of contracts with workers and responding to consumers’ needs. The changes in a global market have necessitated for more flexible and secure labour market that can offer satisfaction to employers and workers needs simultaneously. The International Labour Organization (ILO) had a view that flexibilization of labour market resulted in erosion of workers’ rights which affected their earnings security and the steadiness of working and living conditions (Lansky, 2013). The economists put forward a suggestion to compensate diminishing job security by expanding employment opportunities and social security. Therefore, it was necessary to protect the labour market by ensuring stable and secure jobs in the marker.
The quest to provide flexible and secure labour market in the European States has been adopted as European Employment Strategy (Blanpain & Baker, 2010).