Since the onset of the economic and financial crisis in 2008, the number of young people in employment across the European Union has declined considerably. By mid-2013, the unemployment rate among people aged 24 and under had increased to over 23%. A large number of workers in this age group are employed on temporary rather than permanent contracts (42% compared to just 10% of workers aged 25–64). While temporary or fixed-term contracts can be a stepping stone in the transition from education into work, they can also trap young people in insecure jobs.
This comparative report from the European Restructuring Monitor is based on data from correspondents in 28 EU Member States and Norway. It examines the reasons for the growth in temporary employment contracts across the EU and explores the situation regarding access to social protection for young people on temporary or fixed-term contracts. It reviews the measures put in place in various countries to regulate the use of these contracts – often with a view to encouraging the transition to standard contracts – and finally presents the opinions of the social partners on the issue.