Casual work: Characteristics and implications

Biletta I, with contributions from multiple IES researchers |   | Eurofound | Apr 2020

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Casual work is characterised by the absence of a stable and continuous employment relationship; according to the European Parliament it can be defined as ‘irregular or intermittent, with no expectation of continuous employment’, with the potential for irregular and unpredictable working hours or schedules.

Eurofound proposed in 2015 a definition of casual work that distinguishes two forms: ‘intermittent’ and ‘on-call’ work. Intermittent work is more prevalent in Czechia, France and Romania, while on-call work is more prevalent in the Netherlands and the UK. Both forms are present in Germany and Italy. In some countries (Italy, the Netherlands and Poland), casual work includes other types of contracts and self-employment relationships.

This report explores the following issues:

  • forms of casual work and their regulation
  • drivers for using these working arrangements
  • the characteristics of workers and businesses engaged in casual work
  • the incidence and implications of casual work for workers and employers