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Supporting policy with scientific evidence

We mobilise people and resources to create, curate, make sense of and use knowledge to inform policymaking across Europe.

Publication | 2019

Old welfare in new labour markets? The social protection of atypical workers


  • Non-standard forms of work are increasingly common across Europe, raising doubts about the capacity of existing tax-benefit systems to provide adequate social protection to all types of worker.
  • Guaranteeing adequate social protection to atypical workers is a priority for the EU and included in the European Pillar of Social Rights.
  • Atypical workers are in general less well protected than traditional employees in the event of unemployment, as their access to unemployment insurance schemes is limited. This is also reflected in their greater exposure to poverty risk, both when unemployed and when in work - 25% of atypical employees and 20% of the self-employed are at risk of poverty while in work.
  • JRC simulations using the EUROMOD model show that extending unemployment insurance to the self-employed would significantly improve their income protection and lessen their exposure to the risk of poverty in the event of unemployment.