Temporary Layoffs in Austria: Quantitative importance, Structure and Consequences for Workers, Firms and the Social Security System

In order to adapt to internal fluctuations of labour demand, firms dismiss part of their workers in times of decreasing product demand and rehire them at a later point of time when demand increases again. This flexibilisation strategy does not only affect workers and firms, but is also likely to have a major budgetary impact on the social security system, because firms shift part of their costs to the unemployment insurance. As a consequence, temporary layoffs are increasingly recognised as a non-negligible object of policy intervention. At the same time, current knowledge of this phenomenon is scarce. The research project will provide a comprehensive assessment of the quantitative importance of temporary layoffs in Austria, its structure and evolvement over time as well as its effects for workers, firms and public households, particularly the social security system.