Business School


The rise of the dual labour market: fighting precarious employment in the new member states through industrial relations (2014-2016)

(Abbreviation: PRECARIR; European Commission grant VS/2014/0534)

Project overview
The EU accession and the economic crisis led to the rise of non-standard, precarious employment forms across the new Member States in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). In 2013, temporary employees represented approximately 10 percent of the total number of employees on average, in the CEE, varying from 27 percent in Poland to 1.7 percent in Romania (Eurostat, 2014). Despite the importance of the phenomenon of precarious employment, little evidence is available on the strategies of social partners to address the rise of the dual labour market, in which the importance of precarious employment forms increases. To fill this gap, this project explores how the strategies of employers and trade unions across 10 EU Member States represent the interest of non-standard and vulnerable groups in precarious employment forms in the labour market; and how the needs of these groups are addressed in the process of collective bargaining and other initiatives by the social partners.

This project investigates precarious employment in 10 countries with various institutional arrangements, namely (a) neo-liberal: Latvia, Lithuania and Romania; (b) embedded liberal: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia; (c) neo-corporatist: Slovenia and Croatia and (d) Mediterranean market economy: Greece. In each country, the study focuses on sectoral developments in four predominantly private sectors (metal, retail, construction and temporary agency work) and the healthcare sector, which is largely part of the public sector.

The main tasks of the project are as follows:
1. Review trends in precarious employment in selected countries and sectors based on secondary data.
2. Examine the role of industrial relations actors in fighting precarious work based on primary data (in-depth interviews with relevant key informants at national and sectoral levels).
3. Draw policy implications at national and European level.

Project team / Coordinating team
- Aurora Trif (Dublin City University)
- Marta Kahancová (CELSI)
- Aristea Koukiadaki (University of Manchester)

Country partners
Croatia – Hrvoje Butkovic and Visnja Samardzija (IRMO)
Czech Republic - Maria Sedlakova (CELSI)
Greece - Aristea Koukiadaki and Charoula Kokkinou (University of Manchester)
Hungary - Tibor Meszmann (CELSI)
Latvia- Alf Vangas and Marija Krumina (BICEPS)
Lithuania - Boguslavas Gruzevskis and Inga Blaziene (ILSR)
Poland – Adam Mrozowicki and Małgorzata Maciejewska (University of Wroclaw)
Romania – Aurora Trif (Dublin City University)
Slovakia - Marta Kahancova (CELSI)
Slovenia - Miroslav Stanojevic and Branko Bembic (University of Ljubljana)


For more information please contact;

Dr. Aurora Trif
Lecturer in HRM & Course Director MSc in HR Strategies
Office: +353-1-7005250