Precarious employment and EU employment regulation

Julia S O'Connor

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    This chapter situates precarious employment within the employment spectrum and argues that non-standard employment is not a homogeneous category in terms of employment characteristics and workers’ rights and security. It identifies a combination of elements that characterise precarious employment and mean that it can have pervasive negative consequences for individuals. An analysis of the scope and coverage of EU employment regulation of non-standard employment demonstrates that EU Directives do not afford protection to most individuals in precarious employment. These workers are not likely to be in a position to vindicate the formal rights afforded by such regulation, and many are in forms of employment not explicitly targeted by EU employment regulation. The chapter concludes that precarious employment is a significant potential, and unequally shared, risk of flexibility strategies, and a commitment to combine security with flexibility, that is ‘flexicurity’ in EU labour market discourse, does not obviate this risk.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSocial Policy Review 25
    EditorsGaby Ramia, Kevin Farnsworth, Zoe Irving
    Place of PublicationBristol, UK
    PublisherPolicy Press
    ISBN (Print)978 1 44731 274 1
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2013


    • Precarious employment
    • non-standard employment
    • employment regulation
    • EU Directives
    • flexibility
    • ‘flexicurity’


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