005 Corporate Welfare in Europe: A Changing Role for Social Partners?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013: 9:00 AM-10:45 AM
E0.02 (VOC Room) (Oost-Indisch Huis)
In the last decades, there have been many innovations in the field of industrial relations and the welfare state. Firstly, welfare programmes have been hit by austerity measures: in many countries, cost containment has resulted in a projected decline of social benefits and services. Secondly, many welfare policy areas have seen a shift from national to sub-national competencies. Thirdly, in recent years there has been an increase in supplementary social benefits and transfers set up by the social partners. The latter have played a growing role in providing social benefits (bilateral initiatives implemented through social dialogue as well as unilateral actions by the employers). In the session we will refer to ‘Corporate Welfare’ to describe this new reality of supplementary welfare provision based on collective bargaining and/or unilateral action by the employer. These trends give rise to important questions about the changing role of social partners, and the present and future of the welfare state (in terms of outputs and outcomes).

The session aims: - to map and assess the increased role of ‘Corporate Welfare’ in different EU countries, belonging to different Welfare Regimes and “Varieties of Capitalism” models: from  the UK to the Netherlands, from Germany to Italy; - to illustrate the gradual diversification of welfare rights in specific policy fields (from pensions to health care to unemployment policies); - to improve the understanding of its main outputs and outcomes, also in terms of the main consequences of ‘Corporate Welfare’ for social dialogue (and especially the role of trade unions).

Maria Jepsen
Isabela Mares
Changing Occupational Welfare in Europe
Marek Naczyk, University of Oxford; Martin Seeleib-Kaiser, University of Oxford
The multifaceted rise of “Corporate Welfare” in Italy
David Natali, University of Bologna; Emmanuele Pavolini, Macerata University
The Transformation of the Dutch Welfare State Revisited
Mara Yerkes, The University of Queensland - Australia
Unemployment risks redistribution under post-industrialism: explaining employer cross-sectoral divides in Germany and Italy
Federico Pancaldi, European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Brussels
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