Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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[IWS] ILO: SOUTH AFRICA: NON-STANDARD WORK ARRANGEMENTS IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR: THE CASE OF SOUTH AFRICA [29 September 2014]

IWS Documented News Service

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Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau

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International Labour Organization (ILO)

Working Paper 302

 

NON-STANDARD WORK ARRANGEMENTS IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR: THE CASE OF SOUTH AFRICA [29 September 2014]

http://www.ilo.org/sector/Resources/publications/WCMS_310221/lang--en/index.htm

or

http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_dialogue/---sector/documents/publication/wcms_310221.pdf

[full-text, 26 pages]

 

This study is one of a series of country studies commissioned by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on non-standard work arrangements in the public sector. Its aim is to understand, firstly, the implications of this trend for the decent work objectives and, secondly, to identify appropriate policy responses. In doing so, we have also endeavoured to identify the gender dimension of non-standard work arrangements, and obtain data that is disaggregated by sex.

 

As understood here, non-standard work (or non-standard employment, as we prefer to term it) takes two different forms. Firstly, it refers to the increased utilisation of part-time and temporary workers, which we will refer to here as casualization, to distinguish it from the second form. The second form refers to the utilisation of contractors or intermediaries to employ the workers required, in this instance, to provide services to government. We refer to this as externalization (Theron and Godfrey, 2000).

 

In the case of externalisation, the workers providing the service in question are generally employed on a temporary basis (typically the term for which the contractor or intermediary is engaged). Less usually, they may also be employed on a part-time basis. Accordingly, casualization and externalisation overlap. However the implications for decent work objectives are more likely to be negative in the case of externalisation than casualization, particularly where lesser skilled workers are involved. We elaborate on the reasons for this below.

 

Since this study is supposed to be based on the existing literature and statistics regarding non-standard work arrangements, rather than original research, it is necessary to point out at the outset that there is a dearth of literature on the subject. There is also a dearth of meaningful statistical data. This is because of the difficulties of measuring non-standard employment, which we believe are not unique to South Africa.

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