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Non-standard employment and access to social security benefits

This research note reviews the literature on non-standard employment, and the definitions of it that have been adopted. Examines the extent of non-standard employment in the EU and the way it has changed over the recent past, especially over the crisis period. Considers social security systems in the different EU Member States as they apply to different types of non-standard employment, namely: self-employment, fixed term contracts, and part-time work. The aim is to identify features that disadvantage, or are likely to disadvantage, workers in these types of employment as compared with those in standard jobs – i.e. with permanent contracts of employment and full-time work. The main focus is on unemployment, sickness, and maternity benefits, though the relevant features of public pension schemes are also considered. Assesses the relative number of people in these types of employment in different EU Member States (based on EU Labour Force Survey data), and therefore at risk of not being entitled to social benefits in the event of becoming unemployed, falling ill or having a child.