Employment flexibility in large companies: change and continuity

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Abstract

Claims that companies have increasingly turned to temporary workers, outworkers and subcontracting to enhance their ‘numerical flexibility’ are scrutinised using data from a survey of industrial relations in large companies. The survey reveals considerable continuity in the use of these employment practices. Recent reports published by the National Economic Development Office and ACAS are shown to overstate the extent of change in the 1980s.

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