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Mies Westerveld

The central question for this chapter is whether the protection schemes of social security take sufficient account of (the position of) women. This question is approached historically, dividing the period of EEC/EU legislation and social policy making into two broad periods: the hard law period (1975–1990) when a small number of member states set themselves the task of cleansing their social security schemes of direct and indirect discrimination; and the period of gender mainstreaming and equal opportunity policies when the EU had become considerably larger and faith in hard law regulation had weakened. For the analysis the welfare state typology of Esping-Andersen is used, without neglecting the criticism this model provoked from feminist academics. A chapter in itself are the Central and Eastern European Countries who became member states after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In some of them the debate about what is best for women took an unexpected turn. Both elements – the critique of feminists of the welfare state typology of Esping-Andersen, and the approach of some CEECs of gender and social protection in the post-Communist period – illustrate both the complexity of the theme and the fact that it is not really possible to answer the central question unambiguously.

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Mies Westerveld

In the Netherlands, social security is organised by means of employee insurance schemes for labour-related risks and national insurance schemes for social risks that concern all residents. Of late, the first in particular are increasingly failing to protect dependent or ‘precarious’ workers. This is caused by changes in the labour market: the entry of solo self-employment (SSE) and of app-driven labour on demand. This chapter concentrates on the first development as one that is more or less crystallised. The Dutch SSE case study shows two things: one, social insurance and tax legislation can be very potent stimuli in the growth of this work type, which is, measured against EU standards, extraordinary. And two, stimulating a certain work type using fiscal facilities is much easier than reversing its effect once the result is not as agreeable as expected. The government should take this message to heart in its (future) approach to work in the ‘sharing’ or ‘gig’ economy.

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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.