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Chapter 15

Chapter 15 Textbook Notes

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Western University
Sociology 2169

Sociology – Work and Industry – Chapter Fifteen – Nonstandard Jobs  Nonstandard jobs are central to today’s economy What is a Nonstandard Job?  Non-standard jobs – part-time jobs, temporary jobs through an agency, self-employment, contract work, outsourcing, and seasonal work  Considered bad jobs o Range in quality  some low paid, some well paid  Not jobs with a standard employment relationship – workers have full-time, year-round job with one employer o Standard job – workers have reasonable expectation that employment will continue indefinitely  Nonstandard workers lack an employer o Mostly the self-employed  Self-employed – take on all the risk of their employment  Legal employer and the employer ‘in practice’ who oversee daily work are not the same o De jure –legal employer – one who hires you, signs your paycheque, and is legally responsible for you o De facto – employer in practice – may supervise your daily work and owns the company where your work is located  Standard jobs: o One employer who hires and pays them o One person who supervises their day-to-day work  Part-time workers have same relationship as those in standard jobs, whereas temporary-help jobs and contract workers have different de jure and de facto employers  Employees cannot assume their employment will continue  Legal employer is not the one who controls how nonstandard workers do their jobs o Independent contractors and self-employed oversee their own work  Nonstandard jobs differ from standard jobs in the hours worked o Most nonstandard jobs are part-time  Differ from standard jobs by: often not full time, not always controlled by the legal employer, and cannot be assumed to continue indefinitely Are Nonstandard Jobs Bad Jobs?  Jobs usually equate with poor quality jobs  Varity of quality from good to bad in nonstandard jobs o Self-employed earn more money and could have health insurance and pensions o Temporary and part-time workers and day labourers have low wages, no health insurance, and no pensions  Nonstandard jobs are characterized as precarious in three dimensions  increases the chances of marginalization and vulnerability o Limited control over working conditions and pace of work, lack of unionization o Degree of regulatory protection from the government is less  Ex. self employed workers cannot collect employment insurance o Some nonstandard jobs provide inadequate pay that does not allow workers to support themselves or their families  Temporary and part time work can have low job quality  Self-employment can have better job quality, and be closer in the job quality to standard employment The Rise of Nonstandard Work  Between 1989 and 2002 – percentage of standard forms of employment declined  2002 – 1/3 of all Canadian workers were in some type of nonstandard job  Increase due to the rise of the service economy, macroeconomic instability in the global economy, privatization of government services, and organizational restructuring  1990s – starting point for the rise of nonstandard work  1960s movement to nonstandard jobs – processes of globalization increased competition, uncertainty, and financial pressure on companies o Rethink standard employment o Economic hardship in North America and Europe – oil crisis 1970s o Economic slowdowns o A way to increase their flexibility and their ability to adjust to consumer demands  turned to nonstandard work to avoid mandates and costs associated with these laws  Nonstandard work can be seen as attractive as it is more flexible  Two types of flexibility: o Functional (internal) – allows employers to move workers from one job to another within an organization, often ‘high-performance workplaces’ or with ‘empowered workers’ o Numerical (external) – drove employers to create nonstandard jobs, to adjust to the size of their workforce ‘to fluctuations in demand by using workers who are not their regular, full-time employees’  Hire temporary, part-time, or contract workers who can be let go when not needed  Organizational restructuring or downsizing – 1980s and 1990s – drove to the rise of nonstandard work o Large deficits slashed jobs, and privatized work previously done by civil servants o Advances in telecommunications and information technology o Increased participation of women in the labour force  Women liked part-time and nonstandard work arrangements – could balance money and childcare responsibilities  Air Canada Case Study page 274  Standard work came out of the World War II and the male full-employment model o Historically, standard employment is unique  Nonstandard employment seems to be normal...  Increase is seen as positive o Reduce costs o Gain flexibility in competitive markets  Downside of nonstandard jobs: insecurity, lost access to benefits, and often inability to survive on their wages Part-Time work, Temporary Work, and Self-Employment  Women more likely to work part time and be temporary workers  74% working part time permanent and 63% working part time temporary were women  “gendered nature of precarious work”  Workers who are most vulnerable (women, people of colour, immigrants, and young and older workers) are more likely found in nonstandard jobs  Self-employment only form that men dominate Part-Time Jobs  Part time work has been on the rise  2005 – 20% of Canadians worked part-time o There has been an increase in the other G7 countries in part time work  Women more likely in these jobs  Why: o For flexibility – balance with childcare responsibilities  “Choice” – makes the lower wages and job insecurity justifiable o Lack of affordable childcare or family-friendly work policies make this type of work the only option for them o Balance work and family o This choice could be seen as the best option – is preferable for the needs of their lifestyle  Workers of colour and immigrants are more likely in these jobs - 32% of immigrants work part time o Remain in these jobs longer – dead-end job ghettos (TRAPS)  One in 4 Canadians with a disability work part time o One in three of that say they work part time because of their disability o Other third said school, business conditions, or inability to find full-time work  Why: o Attracted to flexible hours – allows them to manage their disability o Could be the only type of work available to them  Younger and older workers more likely in these jobs o Part time work highest for workers aged 15 to 24 o Number of ol
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