Deadline: 05.03.2023

Causes, Consequences and Forms of Non-Standard Employment

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of the International Journal of Social Welfare. Deadline: March 5, 2023

In many countries, a substantial and often increasing share of employment relationships are “atypical” or “non-standard”. So-called non-standard forms of employment such as temporary or low-pay jobs may potentially be a pathway to stable and adequately paid employment for unemployed persons with limited labour market prospects. However, non-standard workers risk to be trapped in secondary labour market segment, when they are for example cycling between temporary employment and unemployment. Non-standard employment can be ‘precarious work’, if it is linked with attributes such as low pay, uncertainty about future employment, or a low level of social protection.

The division of the labour market into a segment of well-paid permanent employment and low-paid or short-term employment goes along with a divide in the degree of social protection, where ‘insiders’ are sheltered a lot better from labour market risks than ‘outsiders’ (Emmenegger et al. 2012, Palier/Thelen 2010). During the COVID-19 pandemic, non-standard workers had often less access to social protection and to job retention schemes than ‘regular’ workers. Moreover, the welfare politics of the past two decades that aimed to fight poverty by moving people into paid work were more successful at increasing employment than at reducing poverty (Taylor-Gooby et al. 2015). Overall, being in paid work is not the same as being protected from poverty and enjoying social protection. The quality of employment matters.

In this special issue we call for articles that provide new insights into how non-standard employment can be conceptualised as a social risk and how social policy can respond to that risk. We invite articles that address topics such as (but not limited to):

  • The distribution of different types of non-standard employment among different socio-economic groups with a focus on vulnerable groups such as migrants, as well as perceptions of non-standard employment
  • Labour-market trajectories of individuals in non-standard employment and determinants at the individual, firm and institutional level that foster or hinder upward mobility and decent work
  • The effects of labour market programmes and other forms of interventions (e.g. sanctions, placement and counselling) on transitions into different types of employment
  • The role of non-standard employment in the street level implementation of activation policy, including the negotiation of non-standard employment in street-level interactions between public employment services and citizens
  • Consequences of non-standard employment for different outcomes (e.g. social protection, health)
  • Non-standard employment and social change induced e.g. by demographic shifts, changing labour market regulations and technological changes
  • Policy responses to non-standard employment

Papers using either quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods are welcome.

Guest Editors:

Submission Guidelines/Instructions

Abstract submission instruction: Authors are encouraged to submit the title and abstract (500 – 1000 words, including aims, methods, findings, main contribution) of their planned article by 5 March 2023 by email to the guest editors (katrin.hohmeyer(at) and monika.senghaas(at) with subject line: IJSW non-standard employment abstract.


  • Abstract Deadline: 5 March 2023
  • Abstract Notification: 5 April 2023
  • Submission Deadline: 30 June 2023
  • Expected Publication Date: Early mid-2024

For more information, see the call for papers on the IJSW website:

Call for Papers (PDF)