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Destandardization of employment in the UK: Issues, politics and policy re-invention

Destandardization of employment in the UK: Issues, politics and policy re-invention

Kretsos, Lefteris and Lucio, Miguel Martínez (2013) Destandardization of employment in the UK: Issues, politics and policy re-invention. In: Koch, Max and Fritz, Martin, (eds.) Non-Standard Employment in Europe: Paradigms, Prevalence and Policy Responses. Work and Welfare in Europe, II . Palgrave Macmillan UK, London, UK, pp. 103-116. ISBN 9781137267153 (doi:

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The chapter aims to discuss labour market destandardization in the context of the United Kingdom (UK). This is a nation that has been synonymous with some of the most complex and substantive changes in terms of the organization and structure of employment. It is held, along with the case of the United States of America, as an example of a market-leaning and more individualized approach to labour market regulation. The chapter therefore starts with an outline of the context of the UK in terms of its economic and industrial relations system. It then outlines some of the dimensions of destandardization in terms of numerical, functional, temporal and financial developments. The chapter proceeds to argue that this complexity and this uneven form of destandardization create a series of challenges in terms of their sum and not just in terms of their parts. First, the nature of the changes in the labour market in terms of flexible, liberal and defensive developments will be discussed and explained. There are different contours, which provide us, ironically, with a non-standard experience of destandardization. Second, we aim to focus on how these different features evolve across time and how they lead to, and provide, different tensions and problems for workers, employers and the state. The construction of flexibility is not an end point but can provide workers and employers with a new set of issues and challenges. This leads to a third theme we aim to address: how the state deals with the problems and outcomes of a more precarious workforce and how it remakes its intervention and policy in the face of this.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: United Kingdom, labour market, conditions of employment, European Commission
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Work & Employment Research Unit
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:23
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None

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