Non-standard forms of employment

  • B. Birla/ILO
  • ILO
  • Jessica Maida Photography
  • Bench Accounting/Unsplah
  • Marcel Crozet/ILO
"Non-standard forms of employment” – also referred to as diverse forms of work – is an umbrella term for different employment arrangements that deviate from standard employment. They include temporary employment; part-time and on-call work; temporary agency work and other multiparty employment relationships; as well as disguised employment and dependent self-employment. As working from home does not take place at the employer’s premises, but rather at the worker’s home or at another location of their choosing, it too is considered a diverse employment arrangement. Non-standard employment features prominently on digital labour platforms.

The increase in non-standard forms of employment in the past few decades has been driven by a variety of forces, including demographic shifts, labour market regulations, macroeconomic fluctuations, and technological changes. In some instances, this greater diversity in working arrangements has accommodated such changes and allowed more workers to integrate into the labour market, but it has also posed challenges for working conditions and for performance of companies, as well as for the overall performance of labour markets, economies and societies. While digital labour platforms are a product of technological advances, work on these platforms resembles many long-standing work arrangements, merely with a digital tool service as an intermediary.