Flexible forms of work: ‘very atypical’ contractual arrangements

Broughton A, Biletta I, Kullander M |  EF/10/10/EN | European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions | Feb 2010

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This report examines the recent evolution of some specific flexible employment contractual arrangements in the EU Member States and Norway.

Within the broader category of ‘non-standard forms of work’, the overview focuses on the ‘very atypical’ forms of work, namely: part-time work of fewer than ten hours a week, very short fixed-term contracts, zero hours working, and non-written contracts.

Despite the difficulty in obtaining data, the study highlights the increase in the use of these different types of contractual arrangements and the sectoral specificities that exist Europe wide.

The study explores actions that seek to guarantee both flexibility and security in the labour market through a degree of regulation and monitoring of these forms of work.

The use of very atypical work raises particular challenges, especially in terms of health and safety, the risk of poverty, and the propensity for undeclared work. Social partners as well as policy makers still have to address these challenges.