Non-permanent employment in Ireland below EU average - ESRI

A new study has found that non-permanent or "contingent" employment is not an extensive feature of employment in Ireland.

The ESRI report found that this type of employment has returned to pre-recession levels and is now below the EU average.

The study, 'Measuring Contingent Employment in Ireland', found that contingent employment rose to 10% of total employment during the recession but had fallen back to 8-9% by 2016.

During this period, contingent employment in Ireland remained consistently below the EU average.

According to the study, temporary work accounts for 80% of non-permanent work with freelance making up the balance.

In general, temporary employment did not act as a stepping stone to permanent employment.

Temporary employment is not concentrated among low-skilled occupations. The report found that it is found across all education levels, sectors, occupations and organisational sizes.

The pay differential between permanent and temporary employment was 21% in Ireland compared to the EU average of 29%.

"The issue of contingent employment is highly topical and it is important that we begin to establish an evidence base for Ireland, said Professor Seamus McGuinness of the ESRI.

The evidence in this report suggests that it is not an increasing phenomenon in Ireland.

"The contrasting impacts of temporary contracts on earnings and job satisfaction suggests that workers might enter such relationships for a variety for reasons."

Oonagh Buckley, Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission said that "Employment relationships are becoming more complex and it is important that legislators and policy makers understand those trends when considering whether and what changes should be made to employment law.

"This research by the ESRI is helping the Commission to bring visibility to possible emerging structural shifts in employment patterns as part of its function to commission research and monitor developments in the workplace."

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