A Gender Perspective on Flexicurity and the Swedish Employment Protection Act
AbstractFull employment is an important policy objective at both the Swedish national and European Union levels. The Swedish Employment Protection Act will help to achieve this goal by giving employees the protection of permanent employment. The European Union sees flexicurity as one means to reach that objective. This article shows how women are at risk of being excluded from the opportunity of gaining employment security to a larger extent than men. Such circumstances exist in both the Swedish labour law and the EU flexicurity strategy. The norms that form the basis of the Swedish Employment Protection Act are based on stability of the employment relationship between employer and employee. Flexicurity represents flexibility in the relationship between employers and employees to a greater extent. In the Swedish Employment Protection Act and in flexicurity, workers' competences are essential to their job and employment security. Neither the Swedish Employment Protection Act nor flexicurity take women's specific life circumstances into account when it comes to designing job and employment security for workers. The lack of gender analysis in the construction and formulation of workers' job and employment security may lead to a disadvantage particularly for women.
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