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This news article was originally written in Spanish. It has been automatically translated for your convenience. Reasonable efforts have been made to provide an accurate translation, however, no automated translation is perfect nor is it intended to replace a human translator. The original article in Spanish can be viewed at Las posibilidades de recolocación de trabajadores y una incongruencia matemática

The possibilities of relocation of workers and a mathematical discrepancy

Anna Ros, psychologist PDG - IESE, partner ODIO & R Global24/03/2009

March 24, 2009

The social plan in the reports accompanying the records of employment (Ere) Regulation has become one of the important factors for the labour authority in assessing the viability and authorize such records. Within the social plans, among other measures, usually agree on the service of 'outplacement' with the aim of facilitating the relocation in the labour market of workers affected.

We can say that it's a good practice and that this demonstrated the social responsibility of the company to its employees, assuming the cost of such a service and offering alternatives or, rather, facilitating the process of professional relocation.

It is a useful step for the worker, productive society, and of course, for the Administration that if thrives, the State will have to face during less time to the social costs of unemployment benefit, and the active worker will return to quote personal income tax and social security, among other effects. Everyone wins!

Now, we need to think seriously about the effectiveness and actual usefulness of the services of 'outplacement' at the present time.

Is realistic and feasible to consider the effectiveness of such service or is purely a decorative action or, if you want to, a statement of good intentions, but with remote possibilities about achieving the purposes, i.e., a job for those affected?

What deadlines are we talking to materialize the awaited result?

What is the percentage of actual relocation?

It is important to ask ourselves whether or not work such strategies. Just so we can take steps to solve the problems for companies, persons and therefore to society.

It seems legitimate to think about what actual effectiveness therefore have these measures, if we think in a context such as this where the rates of unemployment (*) scheduled for 2009 are of a 17.7 and expected by 2010 of a 19.7which would place us in numbers to evolve from 3.3 million unemployed to nearly 5 million.

Thus, reformulating the question we could ask ourselves:

Is it enough this measure to alleviate the effects of the Ere? Or should we think about other types of complementary actions?

And it is, pick up a bit in the reflection, we see that something does not block. Thus entry there are some points that attract us attention:

This is not so much how, but we where relocating to so many workers if the map of possibilities becomes increasingly small.

The mathematics associated with this analysis are easy and do not need many complications. We see only two variables:

  • On the one hand, we are witnessing the disappearance of many companies
  • On the other hand, businesses that remain are slimming structures in an attempt to be sustainable and to keep alive in the market

Then, if this is so, we can conclude that there are fewer places available and therefore the chances of relocation of the workers concerned are increasingly scarce.

Moment likely versus possibilities curve evolves in reverse way. Thus, each time there is less free positions available in the labour market and increasingly there are more workers unemployed looking for free posts that deal with.

Which leads us to assess whether it is realistic and existing think, been the scene of excess productive capacity that is in the process of restructuring, that the fact sign in agreement of relocation 'outplacement' social plans should be a sufficient measure to guarantee a result of relocationwhich is what it is.

It seems reasonable to think that it is not. It was in a context of "normal" movement in the labour market, but it is not the case at present.

So, may be appropriate to review the criteria regarding what type of measures can commit to have an impact on the affected population.

It seems so important, draw the attention of the Administration and to involve them in a problem that goes beyond the good will of employers, workers, social partners, professional experts of the 'outplacement', among other agents, which, however well wishing meet its commitments and to workthe end result will not depend on their will and commitment.

It is necessary to involve management and appeal to their ability to generate specific and extraordinary responses in accordance with the specific nature and extraordinariedad of the moment present and especially attending the likely evolution of the economy not only at the local level, but also at the global level, in the coming years, according to current forecasts, which are these and not other circumstances that face entrepreneurs, and that will have to learn to survive and compete.

The time will pass and be shedding and probably the validity of the policies and actions of relocation to regain the job they had, but now, their usefulness is debatable anyway, and should strengthen and complement these actions with decisions and activities that may have a visible impact. Do not we would be denying evidence and signing a dead letter without real impact on a real situation.

It may be part of the measures to be taken to come more from the hand of the need to rethink the labour jurídico-normativo framework, which ever more urgent, it is hinted that actions of relocation on productive networks increasingly depressed.

(*) rate of unemployment (% population active EPA) source: Func

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