Chapter

Non-Standard Work, Flexibility, and United Kingdom Labour Law

Deirdre McCann

in Regulating Flexible Work

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780199218790
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191711787 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199218790.003.0001

Series: Oxford Monographs on Labour Law

Non-Standard Work, Flexibility, and United Kingdom Labour Law

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This chapter elaborates the concepts that are central to the remainder of the book, namely ‘non-standard work’ and ‘labour market flexibility’. It delineates the ‘standard’ employment relationship and indicates how different forms of non-standard work diverge from this paradigm. The emergence and significance of the standard employment relationship in UK labour law is examined, focusing in particular on its embodiment in statutory measures first introduced in the 1960s. The chapter then analyses in detail the images of ‘flexibility’ that have featured in UK employment policy since the election of the ‘New Labour’ government in 1997, centring on the roles envisioned for non-standard working arrangements. It then turns to the government's understanding of the role of labour law within ‘the flexible economy’, and in particular its vision of how non-standard work should be regulated.

Keywords: standard employment relationship; non-standard; precarious; labour market flexibility; New Labour

Chapter.  14633 words. 

Subjects: Employment and Labour Law

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