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Precarious Employment


Over ten years on from the financial crash, and after six years of economic growth, before the onset of Covid-19, across the European Union there were 16.8 million people unemployed, 6.65 million people long-term unemployed, and 86 million people living in poverty of whom 19 million were children.  This presents significant challenges as Europe grapples with the social and economic consequences of the current crisis.


‘A Rising Tide Failing to Lift All Boats’ is the latest publication in Social Justice Ireland’s European Research Series.   This report analyses performance in areas such as poverty and inequality, employment, access to key public services and taxation.  The report also points to key policy proposals and alternatives for discussion.  These include the right to sufficient income, meaningful work and access to essential quality services.  The policy proposals explore how these areas might be delivered upon in a changing world.

Social justice matters. That is why Social Justice Ireland publishes our annual socio-economic review. This book is about charting a course to a fairer Ireland. Social Justice Matters 2020 provides an analysis of the present situation on a wide range of issues and identifies a programme of initiatives and policies that can address our challenges in an integrated and sustainable manner.

What are the ten trends shaping the future of work?  How are these trends transforming what people do for a living; how they do it; what skills they need; where they perform their work; how work relations are structured; and how work is organised, distributed and rewarded?

The negative impact on rural towns and communities from the potential fallout from Brexit is receiving welcome attention at present.  But what about the other threat to rural Ireland and regional development - the impact that automation and robotics will have on employment across the regions?  This issue should be front and centre as Government rolls out the Climate Action Plan and the National Development Plan.

This week, the National Economic & Social Council (NESC) published its report on Addressing Employment Vulnerability as part of a Just Transition in Ireland.  With the loss of an estimated 350,000 jobs, the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the impact, social and economic, of job precarity.  This report, drafted in response to the need to transition to a fundamentally new economic future associated with the challenges of climate change and digital automation, is also instructive as we face a new reality post-coronavirus.  When this crisis passes we will need to develop a new social contract and engage in social dialogue to allow all stakeholders to have a say in shaping that contract.