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11.55 7 Mar 2016


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Ireland offers “weak” job protection and modest social security, research has found.

A new report from the Sheffield Political Economy Research on the negative effects of the recession on job security and employment  support across 19 EU states has been particularly critical of Ireland and the UK, with both nations described as “outliers based on their flexible labour markets (i.e. weak employment protection) and moderate social security spending”.

Not only that, it found that neither Ireland nor the UK have invested considerably in active labour market programmes.

While the UK’s particaption rate for inactive persons in terms of lifelong learning dropped from 19% in 2006 to 9.6% in 2013, Ireland enjoyed a slight increase from 7.8% to 10.77%. This was put down to Ireland increasing access to the Back to Education Allowance programme, covering tuition payments for welfare recipients entering full-time education.

We also compared positively to the UK when it comes to protective legislation since 2008, with Ireland increasing severance pay for workers in recent years.

In general, it has become easier to lay-off workers across Europe, whilst the availability of adult training and education has suffered.

The University of Sheffield report from Thomas Hastings and Jason Heyes is the third publication in a fresh series of SPERI Global Political Economy Briefs.


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