Flexible employment and households in the UK: discourses and changes

Flexible employment and households in the UK: discourses and changes
Document type
Working Paper
Author(s)
Cousins, Christine
Publisher
University of Hertfordshire
Date of publication
1 January 2002
Series
The University of Hertfordshire Business School Working Papers
Subject(s)
People management: all aspects of managing people
Collection
Business and management
Material type
Reports

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This paper considers the discourse and debates on flexible work in the UK and the impact of changes in the nature and distribution of such work on households. Recent researchers have argued that the shift to a flexible labour market is overstated and that the permanent job remains the overwhelming norm. However, this paper argues that this perspective ignores the increased use of numerical flexibility in both public and private sectors, more aggressive employer tactics to pass costs onto core employees together with constant rounds of restructuring of internal labour markets within organisations. The paper shows that in considering the impact of flexible employment on the household, account must be taken of the uneven distribution of work, the importance of part-time work and its gendered nature, the extent of low paid work, and the nature of entry level jobs.

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