Labour markets are inclusive when everyone of working age can participate in paid work, especially vulnerable and disadvantaged people.
Promoting inclusive labour markets means:
- making it easier for people to join (or re-join) the workforce
- removing disincentives to work
- promoting quality jobs and preventing in-work poverty, focusing on:
- helping people stay in work and advance in their careers
EU policy response
2008 – the EU’s active inclusion recommendation asked governments to develop:
- a comprehensive strategy based on 3 social policy areas:
- adequate income support
- inclusive labour markets
- access to quality services
- specifically on inclusive labour markets, practical measures such as lifelong learning, in-work support, etc.
2013 – the EU's social investment package urges governments to speed up their implementation of the recommendation.
An accompanying internal paper highlighted 2 key problems:
- in-work poverty
- disincentives to work – linked to tax & benefits systems
This paper also gives detailed advice for governments on how to boost inclusion, stressing:
- action to help both employers and workers
- a personalised approach, based on jobseekers’ needs
The Commission also recommends making more use of the European Social Fund to help EU governments put effective strategies in place.
- Portraits of labour market exclusion – a joint World Bank and Commission project profiling unemployed and economically inactive people in 6 EU countries (Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Greece)