Employer Participation in Active Labour Market Policies in the United Kingdom and Denmark: The Effect of Employer Associations as Social Networks and the Mediating Role of Collective Voice

Valizade, D., Ingold, J., Stuart, M. (2022), Work, Employment and Society

Active labour market policies (ALMPs) have evolved as pivotal social policy instruments designed to place the unemployed and other disadvantaged groups in sustainable employment. Yet, little is known about what drives employer participation in such initiatives. This article provides a nuanced account of the socio-economic aspects of the demand-side of ALMPs, by investigating employer embeddedness in wider social networks created by employer associations and employee collective voice as enabling mechanisms for employer participation in ALMPs. Drawing on an original survey of employers in the United Kingdom (UK) and Denmark, we found that the extent of employer embeddedness in such social networks is positively associated with employer participation in the UK but not in Denmark, where the effect was indirect and mediated through collective bargaining. The effects of employer network ties and employee collective voice affirm the importance of a more integrated analysis of the interactions between network ties and institutions in ALMP research.

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