Prospects for Reforming the Labour System
Although limited, there are possibilities to modernise the labour system. Major changes, such as a general reduction of the working week to 25 hours, are not practical in the short term. However, a gradual and differentiated introduction of shorter working hours is feasible, the WRR concludes in its report Prospects for Reforming the Labour System (Report no. 21, 1981).
Ten central ideas
In this report the WRR analyses ten ideas for the development of the labour system that have been raised in the public debate. The report then assesses the potential impact of these ideas in relation to employment, the labour system and the social order with the aim of presenting politicians with a range of policy options.
Potential effects on the labour market
The WRR favours a gradual and differentiated introduction of shorter working hours, but it would have to be subject to strict conditions. For example, it must not cause the total wage bill to rise and the operating hours of companies must be maintained. Other options would be to promote part-time work and paid educational leave, greater differentiation in wage determination and improving the quality of labour.