Companies' responsability Trade unions strategies Regions Transitional agencies


Restructuring consists of processes that organise fast, sudden breaks with the stability required for companies and work groups to function correctly. These breaks present major social risks which, in all the countries where the project is under way, first of all generated solutions based on the creation of replacement income (unemployment benefit for employees made redundant) and the implementation of early retirement schemes.

Slowly, in a variety of forms depending on the country, these insurance-related mechanisms were completed by others, the aim of which was to organise professional transition. In Wallonia, the Forem set up an original form of reclassification unit, acting at the request of the unions. In France, it is rare that redundancy plans or similar do not make provision for the implementation of a reclassification unit and, in Germany, “transfer companies” play an equivalent role. Sweden has gradually constructed original joint representation mechanisms on the level of professional branches, “job security foundations”.

  Everywhere, these mechanisms have the common point of having to face economic and social realities that take for granted the management of a set of problems more vast and complex than simple placement in a new job. This is notably the case for local development problems, social cohesion, the reinvestment of skills and health problems, which, despite their acuteness, are studied to only a very small extent. This is why the organisation of professional transition assumes the intervention of a complex group of public or private actors (cf Swedtech), the coordination of which constitutes a major issue.
  In light of the numerous professional transition organisation mechanisms and their age, comparison has proved particularly enriching and, apart from regulatory differences, it reveals problems and common approaches in the various countries of the project.