What is it about?

Dependent self-employment is widely perceived as a rapidly growing form of precarious work conducted by marginalized lower-skilled workers subcontracted by large corporations. Unpacking a comprehensive survey of 35 European countries, Colin C. Williams and Ioana Alexandra Horodnic map the lived realities of the distribution and characteristics of dependent self-employment to challenge this broad and erroneous perception.

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Why is it important?

Featuring rigorous empirical research, Dependent Self-Employment moves beyond the reliance on anecdotal evidence to fill in gaping lacunae in our understanding of such employment. Reporting on the European Working Conditions Survey of 2015, this impressive book provides a crucial contribution to our understanding of dependent self-employment in the 21st century, challenging not only academic perceptions but also depictions of work in the media and political discourse. The authors expertly navigate the ‘grey zone’ of defining dependent self-employment, embracing the spectrum of employment relationships and outlining the limits to the rights and authority of the dependent self-employed. Bold and comprehensive, this timely book offers critical insight for researchers at all levels exploring the nature and distribution of employment in Europe. Given the current public debates on the platform economy, this book will also prove useful for practitioners and policy-makers in labour inspectorates, tax administrations and social security institutions worldwide.


This book explores the lived realities of bogus self-employment in the gig economy and how it can be tackled

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

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This page is a summary of: Dependent Self-Employment, January 2019, Edward Elgar Publishing, DOI: 10.4337/9781788118835.
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