Atypical work employment (also called 'non-standard' employment) is considered to cover those work arrangements that fall outside the realm of the standard employment relationship, understood as work that is full-time and of indefinite duration, as well as part of a subordinate, but bilateral, employment relationship. Atypical work employment (also known as non-standard work) covers a large and growing variety of forms of work and employment characterised by flexibility and reduced security. These forms include part-time work, casual and seasonal work, job sharing, fixed-term contracts, temporary agency work, home-based work, remote working, self-employment, and the work of unpaid spouses or family members in small family-run enterprises. Certain forms of atypical work lack adequate regulation and thus undermine job security and social protection.
Labour statistics are generally weak in identifying and describing ‘atypical’ forms of employment. Women are more likely than men to be found in such ‘atypical’ work situations, and, as a result, their situation is often underestimated and less well-described than that of men. Furthermore, labour statistics are not always presented in a way that is necessarily useful in terms of identifying differences or similarities between women and men workers.
It is worth bearing in mind that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is leading work to improve the categorisation of atypical forms of work in labour statistics.