Non-permanent employment is not an extensive feature of employment in Ireland

The ESRI has found that non-permanent or “contingent” employment has fallen back to pre-recession levels and lies below the EU average.

A new study by the ESRI “Measuring Contingent Employment in Ireland” which was sponsored by the Workplace Relations Commission, notes that, while contingent employment rose to 10 per cent of total employment during the recession, it had fallen back to pre-recession levels of 8 to 9 per cent by 2016. Contingent employment in Ireland remained consistently below the EU average over the period.

The Report finds that temporary work accounts for 80 per cent of non-permanent work and freelance work makes up the balance. In the latter regard, while freelance employment has increased marginally over time, it accounts for only 1 in 50 persons in employment.

The Report pointed out that, in contrast to other EU countries, temporary employment in Ireland is not concentrated among low-skilled occupations. Rather, it is found across all education levels, sectors, occupations and organisational sizes. This is reflected in the pay differential between permanent and temporary employment (the “pay penalty”) which was 21 per cent in Ireland in 2014 compared to the EU average of 29 per cent.

Temporary employment did not generally act as a stepping stone to full time employment. Notwithstanding that, the report also found that temporary workers report similar levels of job satisfaction as their permanent counterparts.

To read the full report see Measuring contingent employment in Ireland

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