The European world of temporary employment : gendered and poor?
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
European societies: official journal of the European Sociological Association. - London
, p. 83-111
University of Antwerp
Departing from growing concerns about in-work poverty and the proliferation of flexible employment, we investigate the association between temporary employment and poverty in a European comparative perspective. In doing so, we focus specifically on possible gender dimensions, because some are concerned that the impact of flexible employment on income security will be different for men and women and that gender inequality will increase. By means of a logistic multilevel model, we analyse recent EU-SILC data for 24 European countries. The results show that the temporarily employed have a higher poverty risk vis-à-vis permanent workers, mainly caused by lower wages. However, the risk factors to become working poor are similar. The poorly educated, young workers and those living in a single earner household with dependent children have an increased probability to live in poverty, whether they are employed on temporary or permanent basis. Differences between European welfare regimes demonstrate that policy constellations influence the magnitude of these risk factors. Counter-intuitively, temporary working women have a lower poverty risk than their male counterparts. They are better protected because they are more often secondary earners in a dual earning household, while men are more often primary earners. This article advances knowledge on the linkages between temporary employment, economic insecurity and gender differences in European welfare states.