Workforce heterogeneity and unemployment benefits : the need for policy reassessment in the European Union
This paper begins with a consideration of the different systems of social and income support for the unemployed across the European Union. It evaluates the role of state policies in affecting whether or not a person is counted as unemployed or is eligible for benefits. In particular, it argues that eligibility conditions based on continuous employment history and minimum weekly hours of earnings thresholds exacerbate women's over-representation in low-paid jobs, precarious or atypical employment, and labour-market quits.
Next, the analysis re-examines the level of benefits from the state for loss of income while unemployed for men and women, taking into account the impact of differences in men's and women's earnings on benefits as well as differences in access to benefits: this provides a more adequate analysis of variations by gender and by country of differences in unemployment benefit systems than those presented in other studies, and reveals the continued failure in many countries to expand the unemployment-benefit system to provide protection and coverage for the flexible labour force.--SCAD summary.