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Union coverage and non-standard work in Britain

  • Alison L. Booth
  • Marco Francesconi

Using representative data from the British Household Panel Survey for the period 1991--97, we document the extent of union coverage across standard and non-standard workers in Britain. Non-standard employment--defined in terms of contracts, places, times, and hours of work--involves approximately 60% of the employed population. Most workers in non-standard employment are less likely to be union covered than otherwise identical workers in standard employment. In particular, women across nearly all types of non-standard jobs are significantly less likely to be covered than women in regular employment. For men, this negative relationship is only found for those working on fixed term contracts or short hours. Gender differences are therefore large and significant. We cannot detect an expansion of union coverage towards any type of non-standard employment over our sample period. Finally, we find significant differences in the relationship between non-standard work and union coverage in the private and public sectors. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 55 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 383-416

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:55:y:2003:i:3:p:383-416
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