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Category: News

TASC-FEPS Social Implications of Precarious Work Project

SVP, along with a number of other NGOs, were recently asked by TASC (Think-Tank on Action for Social Change) to input to a new research project examining the social implications of precarious work. SVP did not hesitate in taking part, as there is a growing concern among members about the additional stress and strain insecure and irregular work causes low-income households.

The group meet to discuss the progress of the research and SVP provide insight from members’ experience of home visitation. The social justice team also assist the researchers with the recruitment of participants for the project. The final report will be published later in the year and will be used to inform our policy and advocacy work.

Dr. Sinead Pembroke from TASC describes the objectives and initial findings of the project. There’s been a lot of talk about Ireland’s economic recovery, and the media tends to focus on the falling unemployment rate.  However, what do not tend to be investigated are the types of jobs that people are becoming employed in, especially young people.  Many sectors like social care, hospitality, retail, construction and education are becoming increasingly reliant on employing people on a fixed term, zero-hour or self-employed basis.

The Social Implications of Precarious Work is a joint project between FEPS (Foundation for European Progressive Studies) and TASC (Think-Tank on Action for Social Change) looking at the affect these insecure contracts (or lack thereof) have on the lives of the people working in this way. It’s looking to speak to people between the ages of 18 and 40 working on a fixed term, zero-hour or self-employed basis and living in Ireland.

The project is looking at the extent and forms of precarious work in Ireland today and the affect these types of employment have on the lives of people hired in such a way.  These interviews will contribute to a report on this matter to inform the public and policy makers. So far 29 men and women have been interviewed and taking part remains completely anonymous. Altogether we are looking to interview approximately 50 people about their experience of fixed term, zero hour or self-employed work.

The interviews don’t just explore people’s experiences of insecure work, but they also tell the story of how these working conditions affect their lives outside of work. This includes their experience of finding a place to live, accessing healthcare, having a family, fitting in socially, and relationships with other people, planning for the future and how their mental health is affected by all of this.

Health is one area on which precarious work has a significant effect on. It has been a prominent feature throughout our interviews, not only in terms of how it affects their personal health but also in how it is affecting their ability to access healthcare in Ireland. Many could not afford to pay to see a GP, and spoke of having to borrow money when it was absolutely necessary to see one or seek treatment.

Healthcare and more will be tackled in our report, so if you would like to be a part of this and you work on a fixed term, zero-hour or self-employed basis please get in touch with Sinead Pembroke at

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