The current system of employment and social protection is increasingly regarded as favouring insiders and providing inadequate protection for those engaged in care work, and for the increasing numbers employed under non-standard contracts or under complex employment relationships spanning organizational boundaries. There is pressure from the mainstream to deregulate or from social policy circles to focus on universal social protection, not dependent on employment status. This chapter argues for an approach which combines more universal social protection with increased obligations on employers to extend protection across a wider variety of employment statuses. This combined approach is necessary as social protection is not sustainable if employers pass on too many decommodification costs to the state. Furthermore, employment regulation serves multiple functions, not only income and social protection: eight functions of employment regulation are identified and reforms proposed to make the regulation more inclusive and to promote employer responsibility.
Patrick Detzel and Jill Rubery
Colette Fagan and Jill Rubery
Jill Rubery and Hugo Figueiredo
This chapter explores the state of research on women’s employment and social policy in relation to three related topics. The first is women’s integration into employment. We consider the extent to which women have moved from providing a contingent or intermittent labour supply to becoming a permanently attached labour supply. We then link this to the wider social policy debates on the importance of the social support system in shaping women’s integration patterns. The second topic is the extent to which women occupy distinctive positions on the labour market, even if becoming more permanently attached. Here we consider the embedding of gender divisions in the form of segregation, pay gaps, working-time arrangements and contracts. The third topic addresses these trends towards women’s integration together with continuing gender differences from an intersectional perspective that explicitly recognizes the potential for varying impacts by social class from policies and institutions expected to promote gender equality. This intersectional perspective provides insights into how general trends in inequality impact on progress towards gender equality and on how changes in gender relations may also interact with social class to shape inequality across social classes.