The term "precarious work" is frequently associated with the following types of employment: "part-time employment, self-employment, fixed-term work, temporary work, on-call work, home-based workers, and telecommuting." Scholars and critics who use the term "precarious work" contrast it with the "standard employment relationship", which is the term they use to describe full-time, continuous employment where the employee works on their employer’s premises or under the employer's supervision, under an employment contract of indefinite duration, with standardized working hours/weeks and social benefits such as pensions, unemployment benefits, and medical coverage. This "standard employment relationship" emerged after World War II, as men who completed their education would go on to work full-time for one employer their entire lives until their retirement at the age of 65. It did not typically describe women in the same time period, who would only work temporarily until they got married and had children, at which time they would withdraw from the workforce.
While many different kinds of part-time or limited-term jobs can be temporary, critics of globalization use the term "precarious" strictly to describe work that is uncertain, unpredictable, or offers little to no control over working hours or conditions. This characterization has been challenged by scholars focused on the agency that temporary work affords individual workers. However, many studies promoting individual agency focus on highly-educated and skilled knowledge workers, rather than all kinds of temporary workers.
While increased flexibility in the marketplace and in employment relationships has created new opportunities for regulation, regulation intended explicitly to remediate precarious work often produces mixed results. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has developed standards for atypical and precarious employment, including the 1994 Convention Concerning Part-time Work, the 1996 Convention Concerning Home Work, and the 1999 "Decent Work" initiative.
^ abcFudge, Judy; Owens, Rosemary (2006). Fudge, Judy; Owens, Rosemary (eds.). Precarious work, women and the new economy: the challenge to legal norms. Onati International Series in Law and Society. Oxford: Hart Publishing. pp. 3–28. ISBN9781841136165.
^ abVallas, Steven; Prener, Christopher (November 1, 2012). "Dualism, Job Polarization, and the Social Construction of Precarious Work". Work and Occupations. 39 (4): 331–353. doi:10.1177/0730888412456027.
^Kalleberg, Arne L.; Reskin, Barbara F.; Hudson, Ken (2000). "Bad jobs in America: Standard and nonstandard employment relations and job quality in the United States". American Sociological Review. 65 (2): 256–278. doi:10.2307/2657440. JSTOR2657440.
^Barley, Stephen R.; Kunda, Gideon (2011). Gurus, Hired Guns, and Warm Bodies: Itinerant Experts in a Knowledge Economy. Princeton University Press. ISBN9781400841271.
^Campbell, Iain; Price, Robin (September 1, 2016). "Precarious work and precarious workers: Towards an improved conceptualisation". The Economic and Labour Relations Review. 27 (3): 314–322. doi:10.1177/1035304616652074..
^Vosko, Leah F. (2006). "Gender, precarious work, and the international labour code: the ghost in the ILO closet". In Fudge, Judy; Owens, Rosemary (eds.). Precarious work, women and the new economy: the challenge to legal norms. Onati International Series in Law and Society. Oxford: Hart Publishing. pp. 53–76. ISBN9781841136165.