For the past two decades employment in Britain has been marked by a search for greater flexibility in the availability and use of labour. In recent years, however, there has been mounting concern at the costs of this trend and an appreciation that the corollary of a flexible labour market may be an insecure workforce which is vulnerable to exploitation. It is also widely claimed that rising worker insecurity imposes costs on the wider economy and society through lower rates of skill formation, reduced consumer confidence and family instability. This collection of essays uniquely brings together writers from the fields of human resource management, industrial relations, social policy, sociology, economics and politics to explore the validity of these claims. Specific issues considered in the book include: * labour markets and the growth of insecure work * the management of insecure work * trade unions and the representation of insecure workers * job insecurity and personal well-being * insecurity and consumption * insecurity and political behaviour.
The book has a key message: there is evidence of growing insecurity amongst the workforce and this is associated with poor functioning of the economy and the emergence of significant social problems. Re-building security at work should be a major concern of policy makers.