Employment Security

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The most likely immediate association that "job security" is likely to suggest is continuity of employment-knowing that one's job won't suddenly disappear. However, on reflection, it is obvious that, while necessary, this is not enough to make anybody feel secure about any job held.

That's because there are other, comparably important preconditions for job security. These include stability of income, i.e., no sudden decreases in pay or hours worked); no unjustified or inadequately compensated increases in workload; no new work hazards that make continued employment too dangerous; little volatility in the enterprise sector that could lead to drastic downsizing; and no loss or deterioration of established benefits essential to the viability of continued employment, e.g., health insurance.

Choosing a job for, among other things, the "security" it offers should factor in all such considerations-not only the likelihood of continued and continuous employment.

"Employment security" primarily refers to the assurance of continuity of employment and employment benefits, including salary, and of the high likelihood that employment features and options, such as being able to telecommute after it has been allowed, will continue to remain available. Most people desire this type of security, despite whatever appetite for change and "adventure" they may otherwise have.

However, it is not always applicable, especially as a result of turbulent economic situations and turbulent economic downturns that can lead to layoffs and early retirements. Where this type of security does exist, there is usually higher productivity because employees are able to focus on their daily job functions without being concerned about any potentially disturbing removal from their jobs or drastic unwelcome changes in their work conditions.

Of course, the principal form of job security is continuity of employment and stability of associated income. However, conceived more broadly, the concept can include security of health and retirement benefits, paid vacations, workplace safety and protection from unreasonable increases in workload. This broader concept may better represent what some workers are seeking, when they say they are looking for "job security", e.g., in the civil service.

With respect to the core issue of continuity of employment, there are security agencies that are established mainly by governments to help those who are unemployed or unable to find work. Through these organizations, job seekers are able to send in claims or file for benefits to help support themselves until they can get jobs. Job search options may be made available to those who require new jobs. Quite commonly, registering and periodically interfacing with such services is a precondition for filing claims and continuing to receive unemployment insurance benefits (less pejoratively called "employment insurance" or "EI" in some countries, e.g., Canada).

Other information about unemployment benefits and claim processing can also be acquired at these locations.

The security unemployment benefits and job-search services provide enables the unemployed to focus on the task of finding their next jobs in a focused, alert way, without paralyzing panic and desperation hampering the search for jobs and income comparable to or better than that the lost job offered.

In many instances, government-subsidized or privately undertaken job-training programs can augment a sense of security, even if only to the extent that an expansion or redirection of skills sustains confidence and future career prospects, while "buying time" until the next position is secured.
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