Flexible work is often seen as more precarious than traditional employment, but some academics have shown otherwise. Fevre, for example, states that insecurity is not necessarily linked with atypical types of contracts or temporal flexibility (2007, p.521). Surveys have shown that workers feel insecure and characterise their jobs as non-permanent even if their contracts are actually of a permanent nature (Fevre, 2007, p. 521). Insecurity is in fact not a result of an increase in flexibility (Doogan, 2005), according to these authors. Fevre cites an OECD report to show that in the EU, in 2002, there was considerable continuity in employment for workers with flexible-type contracts (2007, p. 521). A more recent OECD report explains how certain workers might prefer flexible employment as it is characterized by “softer commitments” (2014, p.142).
However, these analyses paint only a part of the picture of flexibility. Soleniemi and Zeytinoglu show that although flexibility can be empowering for workers, flexibility from the employer’s point of view can also create instability and insecurity for workers (2007, p.111). Peripheral workers can suffer from employment insecurity as well as work insecurity. Nanteuil (2002) makes this distinction, arguing that precariousness stems not only from the discontinuity in employment but also from unequal treatment at work due to differential status. With regards to employment insecurity, atypical workers have drastically lower social protections and do not enjoy the same benefits from social integration that regular employment provides (2002, p.65). Lower wages can also be a problem, since peripheral workers are in a competitive market (Pollert, 1998). Moreover, there are reduced prospects for c...
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... then lofty because of the breadth of the concepts, the diversity of points of view and the varying geographical conditions.
Flexibility has a wide range of implications on the international management of human resources. Though assertions on the prominence of flexibility must be nuanced, there is a duality in contemporary labour markets, and the notion of flexibility must be taken into consideration in the international management of human resources. Indeed, it is quite a controversial issue, as it is often associated with insecurity for workers and many actors are involved. Although flexibility is necessary for all involved in order to survive in the contemporary globalised world, the issue of employment security is a large part of the flexibility debate. Thus the international management of human resources is made more complex by the issue of labour flexibility.
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