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Marius Olivier

In the developing world informal employment is not generally regarded as illegal or irregular, but as a standard way of life and income-generation. Informal employment represents a significant share of employment in developing regions: ranging from 86 per cent in Africa, to 68 per cent in Asia and the Pacific and 69 per cent in the Arab States. The result is extremely low levels of social security coverage, both quantitatively and qualitatively. And yet, especially in the last few decades, unprecedented steps have been taken to extend social security coverage to informal workers. These developments have largely been informed by economic considerations and shifting social, cultural and conceptual perceptions. Conceptual and regulatory adjustments in areas affecting the very notion and purpose of social security, its sphere of coverage and some of the actors involved have been paramount. Innovative institutional mechanisms, flexible design arrangements and a supportive environment have helped to inform social security extension to these workers. These adjustments and developments challenge the traditional boundaries of the social security notion, aims, structures and mechanisms. This contribution critically reflects on the rationale for and nature of these extension modalities.

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Edited by Mies Westerveld and Marius Olivier

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Social Security Outside the Realm of the Employment Contract

Informal Work and Employee-like Workers

Edited by Mies Westerveld and Marius Olivier

All over the world countries face the challenge of inadequate social security coverage for workers without an employment contact. In countries of the global south, this phenomenon is a natural consequence of large informal economies. Countries in the global north increasingly witness the same issue, due to growing labour market flexibility (flex contracts, dependent self-employment, digitization of labour). In this book authors from both hemispheres exchange insights, experiments and practices with the intention of finding better ways to deal with the social security challenges facing workers.
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Mies Westerveld and Marius Olivier

What attempts have been made to extend social security coverage to informal workers? What types of regulatory and normative frameworks are needed in countries with developed systems of labour law and social insurance? And what can we learn from attempts to make or keep social security all inclusive? In this book, in addition to the introductory cross-cutting chapters, academics from countries with systems of social security at different levels of development reflected on such questions, using their own scientific or national affiliation as starting point. In this last chapter we look at commonalities and we look at the question of whether the analyses and exemplary reports – that were presented under the heading ‘thematic’, ‘regional’ and ‘country case studies’ – provide inspiration for future steps.