Defining and Regulating Zero Hours Work: Lessons from a Liberal Market Economy

Keywords: Labor Market Institutions & Social Partners

Abstract

The apparent rise in precarious work has received increased attention in a number of countries in recent decades. However, studies highlight the difficulties of both defining and capturing the extent of precarious work. In this paper, we report on a study of zero hours contracts in Ireland and drawing on the varieties of capitalism framework, examine the lessons for both LMEs and CMEs. The study found that zero hours contracts, as defined by Irish legislation, were not common; however, evidence of ‘If and When’ contracts emerged during the course of the research. We outline our key findings showing how information garnered from qualitative research provided nuanced insights on the reality of precarious work, which was not captured in the national data set. This is important for measuring the extent of precarious work in future studies.

Author Biographies

Lorraine Ryan, University of Limerick

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Researcher, Department of Work and Employment Studies. E-mail: Lorraine.t.ryan@ul.ie

Jonathan Lavelle, University of Limerick

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Senior lecturer, Department of Work and Employment Studies

Michelle O'Sullivan, University of Limerick

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Senior lecturer, Department of Work and Employment Studies

Juliet McMahon, University of Limerick

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Lecturer, Department of Work and Employment Studies

Caroline Murphy, University of Limerick

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Lecturer, Department of Work and Employment Studies

Tom Turner, University of Limerick

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Professor, Department of Work and Employment Studies

Patrick Gunnigle, University of Limerick

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Professor, Department of Work and Employment Studies

Mike O'Brien, University of Limerick

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Lecturer, Management Development Unit

Published
2019-06-01
How to Cite
Ryan, L., Lavelle, J., O’Sullivan, M., McMahon, J., Murphy, C., Turner, T., Gunnigle, P., & O’Brien, M. (2019). Defining and Regulating Zero Hours Work: Lessons from a Liberal Market Economy. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 9(S6). https://doi.org/10.18291/njwls.v9iS6.114692