Analysis of flexibility clauses to adapt work time to demand in the automotive industry in continental Europe
Document typeExternal research report
Rights accessOpen Access
This paper aims to describe and analyse the use of flexibility clauses instead of overtime to adapt work time to demand in the automotive industry in continental Europe. Flexibility to adapt to demand has become critical in the automobile manufacturing industry. Variability of the number of hours worked by existing staff is an indispensable component of manufacturing flexibility. Outside continental Europe, work time flexibility is obtains basically by using overtime. In continental Europe, the desire of governments and unions to maintain staff, and even to distribute the work more, strongly limits the possible accumulation of work time by the same workers. Due to the global nature of the automotive industry, this disadvantage has to be compensated. This has been achieved by the simultaneous used of several flexibility clauses, particularly average working time accounted and working time accounts. These clauses are designed to respect and even favour the interest of workers. National collective agreements of two outstanding cases, Volkswagen in Germany and Renault in France are analysed. Numerical internal variability generated by the combination of clauses is calculated. Equal or greater flexibility is seen than with the use of overtime, considering intervals of one or several years, depending on the case. It is concluded that the flexibility clauses are effective substitutes for overtime.
Is part ofIOC-DT-P-; 2006-24