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Application of flexible forms of employment and disabled persons work organization

Watching the situation on the labour market, we often meet the flexibility of work organization and non-standard forms of employment. The concept of employment flexibility is defined as a capacity of fast accommodation, which results from changes in market and technological conditions.

Flexibility is also looking for work-life-balance – that is balance between private and professional life, which is more and more noticed by Poles. This is a sort of social term, a willingness to introduce new solutions, which are only a response to employees’ needs, their possibilities and limits. Flexible forms of employment and work organization are a very crucial tool necessary to motivate disabled persons. Thanks to them the process of work can be adjusted to special needs of disabled persons.

What are the flexible forms of employment?

All kind of forms of service provision, excluding the most attractive traditional and fixed form of permanent employment contract, are regarded as flexible forms of employment. These are as follows: 

  • fixed term employment contract,
  • replacement employment contract,
  • part-time employment contract,
  • teleworking,
  • home based employment,
  • job sharing,
  • temporary employment,
  • outstaffing,
  • civil legal contract[1].

Referring to the Labour Code we can distinguish inflexible, not very flexible, very flexible forms of employment. Inflexible forms of employment are: nomination, appointment, election, probationary employment, specific task employment, fixed term employment, seasonal employment, occupational preparation employment); not very flexible: preliminary contract, agency contract, home based employment, staff leasing, job sharing, part-time employment; very flexible, that is managerial employment, contract for specific task, mandatory contract, some  of the types of teleworking, sales agency agreement, outwork[2].

The range of the employment flexibility can be perceived in many different ways and evaluated depending on which labour market participant it concerns – employee or employer. Obviously it is important for an employer to make use of employment flexibility in order to increase their own competitiveness, including e.g. decreasing labour costs. Whereas, for an employee the crucial factors (except for remuneration terms) are: employment security, social benefits, privileges and entitlements or a possibility to adapt the specificity of performed task for their psychophysical capacity.

Within the information technologies development, new forms of employment emerge. That gives a possibility to ‘leave the desk’, perform a job outside the company’s premises. Since 24 June 2007 teleworking appeared to be a new form of employment, which is provided by the Labour Code (Labour Code of 2007, article 67). Teleworking is characterised by the fact it is performed by means of communication and outside the premises of the company.  Depending on the place of work,  we can distinguish telehomeworking – teleworking at home, a job is performed only at home, home based teleworking – most of the duties is performed at home, ad hoc teleworking – a job is performed above all in the company, but in some cases and by an employer’s agreement, it can be provided at home as well, nomadic teleworking – most of work is performed at clients’ premises, at home, but also during journey or business trip.

A special novelty worth attention are e-centres. It is an office, where an employer employing a person for teleworking, can hire them a place of work equipped with computer network. This mostly refers to a job provided for employer by an employee who permanently lives in the other city. In Poland such e-centres are located in Garwolin, Pułtusk and Radom (Projekt ELASTAN, 2007).

In the context of enterprise competitiveness, running a policy of employment according to an actual demand, earning the best specialists or remuneration strategies, unarguable is the fact that applying unconventional forms of employment is more advantageous. Within a great limitation of classical ‘vacancies’ labour costs are reduced – expenses connected with workplace maintenance, remuneration, all kinds of in-work benefits or a necessity to train employees.

Flexible forms of employment concern mainly untypical employment relations, that is temporary work, often performed outside the company premises and part-time, with a limited right to social benefits (leave of absence, trainings, social insurances etc.) or their total shortage. For some social groups such as e.g. disabled persons with health problems (persons who have hardly any chances to find permanent employment), or already employed but searching for extra source of earning money, unconventional form of employment may be a chance to enter or reenter the labour market, give more freedom of choice of a kind and place of work and speed up one’s professional development.

Interest in that forms of employment will grow, which in a considerable way influences the diversification of labour market and growth of the significance of the temporary work. Some labour market experts regard that the unconventional forms used in certain limits are economically and socially attractive both for employers and employees. In so far they are crucial and attractive to employees, the employees are ready to accept them and they enable employees fulfilling other functions – family and social; whether they face their specific psychophysical needs. It might be necessary to consider how to use flexible forms of employment, in order to make them acceptable to every participant of the labour market.

Iwona Kuc


  1. Kwiatkowski E., Elastyczność popytu na pracę w teoriach rynku pracy, [w:] Elastyczne formy zatrudnienia i organizacji pracy i popytu na prace w Polsce, E. Kryńska (ed.), IPiSS, Warszawa 2003.
  2. Vocational and Social Rehabilitation and Employment of Disabled Persons Act Amendment and other acts amendment of 15 June 2007.
  3. The Act of 26 June 1974. Labour Code.
  4. Wolan-Nowakowska M. (ed.), Poradnictwo zawodowe dla osób niepełnosprawnych – ku możliwości przeciw ograniczeniom, AKAPIT, Kraków 2009.