Employing Workers Methodology
Doing Business measures flexibility in the regulation of employment, specifically as it affects the hiring and redundancy of workers and the rigidity of working hours. Over the period from 2007 to 2011 improvements were made to align the methodology for the employing workers indicators with the letter and spirit of the ILO conventions. Only 4 of the 188 ILO conventions cover areas measured by Doing Business: employee termination, weekend work, holiday with pay and night work. The Doing Business methodology is fully consistent with these 4 conventions. The ILO conventions covering areas related to the employing workers indicators do not include the ILO core labor standards—8 conventions covering the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced labor, the abolition of child labor and equitable treatment in employment practices.
Between 2009 and 2011 the World Bank Group worked with a consultative group—including labor lawyers, employer and employee representatives, and experts from the ILO, the OECD, civil society and the private sector—to review the employing workers methodology and explore future areas of research.
This year Doing Business continued research initiated last year, collecting additional data on regulations covering worker protection. The data will serve as a basis for developing a joint analysis of worker protection by the World Bank Group and the ILO and for developing new areas of research in the area of worker protection measures.
Doing Business 2013 does not present rankings of economies on the employing workers indicators or include the topic in the aggregate ranking on the ease of doing business. The report does present the data on the employing workers indicators in an annex.
The data on employing workers are based on a detailed survey of employment regulations that is completed by local lawyers and public officials. Employment laws and regulations as well as secondary sources are reviewed to ensure accuracy. To make the data comparable across economies, several assumptions about the worker and the business are used.
Assumptions about the worker
- Earns a salary plus benefits equal to the economy’s average wage during the entire period of his employment.
- Has a pay period that is the most common for workers in the economy.
- Is a lawful citizen who belongs to the same race and religion as the majority of the economy’s population.
- Resides in the economy’s largest business city.
- Is not a member of a labor union, unless membership is mandatory.
Assumptions about the business
- Is a limited liability company.
- Operates in the economy’s largest business city.
- Is 100% domestically owned.
- Operates in the manufacturing sector.
- Has 60 employees.
- Is subject to collective bargaining agreements in economies where such agreements cover more than half the manufacturing sector and apply even to firms not party to them.
- Abides by every law and regulation but does not grant workers more benefits than mandated by law, regulation or (if applicable) collective bargaining agreement.
Rigidity of employment index
The rigidity of employment index is the average of 3 subindices: the difficulty of hiring index, rigidity of hours index and difficulty of redundancy index. Data and scores for a particular country (country X) are provided as an example (table 20.14).
All the subindices have several components. And all take values between 0 and 100, with higher values indicating more rigid regulation.
The difficulty of hiring index measures (i) whether fixed-term contracts are prohibited for permanent tasks; (ii) the maximum cumulative duration of fixed-term contracts; and (iii) the ratio of the minimum wage for a trainee or first-time employee to the average value added per worker (The average value added per worker is the ratio of an economy’s GNI per capita to the working-age population as a percentage of the total population). An economy is assigned a score of 1 if fixed-term contracts are prohibited for permanent tasks and a score of 0 if they can be used for any task. A score of 1 is assigned if the maximum cumulative duration of fixed-term contracts is less than 3 years; 0.5 if it is 3 years or more but less than 5 years; and 0 if fixed-term contracts can last 5 years or more. Finally, a score of 1 is assigned if the ratio of the minimum wage to the average value added per worker is 0.75 or more; 0.67 for a ratio of 0.50 or more but less than 0.75; 0.33 for a ratio of 0.25 or more but less than 0.50; and 0 for a ratio of less than 0.25. A score of 0 is also assigned if the minimum wage is set by a collective bargaining agreement that applies to less than half the manufacturing sector or does not apply to firms not party to it, or if the minimum wage is set by law but does not apply to workers who are in their apprentice period. A ratio of 0.251 (and therefore a score of 0.33) is automatically assigned in 4 cases: if there is no minimum wage; if the law provides a regulatory mechanism for the minimum wage that is not enforced in practice; if there is no minimum wage set by law but there is a wage amount that is customarily used as a minimum; or if there is no minimum wage set by law in the private sector but there is one in the public sector.
In country X, for example, fixed-term contracts are prohibited for permanent tasks (a score of 1), and they can be used for a maximum of 6 years (a score of 0). The ratio of the mandated minimum wage to the value added per worker is 0.61 (a score of 0.67). Averaging the 3 values and scaling the index to 100 gives country X a score of 56.
The rigidity of hours index has 5 components: (i) whether there are restrictions on night work; (ii) whether there are restrictions on weekly holiday work; (iii) whether the workweek can consist of 5.5 days or is more than 6 days; (iv) whether the workweek can extend to 50 hours or more (including overtime) for 2 months a year to respond to a seasonal increase in production; and (v) whether the average paid annual leave for a worker with 1 year of tenure, a worker with 5 years and a worker with 10 years is more than 26 working days or fewer than 15 working days. For questions (i) and (ii), if restrictions other than premiums apply, a score of 1 is given. If the only restriction is a premium for night work or weekly holiday work, a score of 0, 0.33, 0.66 or 1 is given, depending on the quartile in which the economy’s premium falls. If there are no restrictions, the economy receives a score of 0. For question (iii) a score of 1 is assigned if the legally permitted workweek is less than 5.5 days or more than 6 days; otherwise a score of 0 is assigned. For question (iv), if the answer is no, a score of 1 is assigned; otherwise a score of 0 is assigned. For question (v) a score of 0 is assigned if the average paid annual leave is between 15 and 21 working days, a score of 0.5 if it is more than 21 but less than 26 working days and a score of 1 if it is less than 15 or more than 26 working days.
For example, country X does not impose any restrictions either on night work (a score of 0) or on weekly holiday work (a score of 0), allows 5.5-day workweeks (a score of 0), permits 50-hour workweeks for 2 months (a score of 0) and requires average paid annual leave of 22 working days (a score of 0.5). Averaging the scores and scaling the result to 100 gives a final index of 10 for country X.
The difficulty of redundancy index has 8 components: (i) whether redundancy is disallowed as a basis for terminating workers; (ii) whether the employer needs to notify a third party (such as a government agency) to terminate 1 redundant worker; (iii) whether the employer needs to notify a third party to terminate a group of 9 redundant workers; (iv) whether the employer needs approval from a third party to terminate 1 redundant worker; (v) whether the employer needs approval from a third party to terminate a group of 9 redundant workers; (vi) whether the law requires the employer to reassign or retrain a worker before making the worker redundant; (vii) whether priority rules apply for redundancies; and (viii) whether priority rules apply for reemployment. For question (i) an answer of yes for workers of any income level gives a score of 10 and means that the rest of the questions do not apply. An answer of yes to question (iv) gives a score of 2. For every other question, if the answer is yes, a score of 1 is assigned; otherwise a score of 0 is given. Questions (i) and (iv), as the most restrictive regulations, have greater weight in the construction of the index.
In country X, for example, redundancy is allowed as grounds for termination (a score of 0). An employer has to notify a third party to terminate a single redundant worker (a score of 1) as well as to terminate a group of 9 redundant workers (a score of 1), and the approval of a third party is also required in both these cases (a score of 3). The law does not mandate any retraining or alternative placement before termination (a score of 0). There are priority rules for termination (a score of 1) and reemployment (a score of 1). Adding the scores and scaling to 100 gives a final index of 70.
The redundancy cost indicator measures the cost of advance notice requirements, severance payments and penalties due when terminating a redundant worker, expressed in weeks of salary. The average value of notice requirements and severance payments applicable to a worker with 1 year of tenure, a worker with 5 years and a worker with 10 years is used to assign the score. If the redundancy cost adds up to 8 or fewer weeks of salary and the workers can benefit from unemployment protection, a score of 0 is assigned, but the actual number of weeks is published. If the redundancy cost adds up to 8 or fewer weeks of salary and the workers cannot benefit from any type of unemployment protection, a score of 8.1 is assigned, although the actual number of weeks is published. If the cost adds up to more than 8 weeks of salary, the score is the number of weeks. One month is recorded as 4 and 1/3 weeks.
In country X, for example, an employer is required to give an average of 2 months’ notice (8.66 weeks) before a redundancy termination, and the average severance pay for a worker with 1 year of service, a worker with 5 years and a worker with 10 years equals 3.5 months of wages (15.22 weeks). No penalty is levied and the workers cannot benefit from any type of unemployment protection. Altogether, the employer pays the equivalent of 23.9 weeks of salary to dismiss a worker.
The employing workers methodology was developed by Botero and others (2004). Doing Business 2013 does not present rankings of economies on the employing workers indicators.