What explains the rise of precarious work in the UK? Why do some employers rely so heavily on precarious work within their wider human resource management strategies?
we would expect the introduction to provide a definition of precarious work and some statistics about the increase in the UK over time. Good source material that could be used to build up the introduction includes Deakin and Adams (2014), Rubery et al (2016) and Wright (2013) We would expect a critical review of different explanations of the rise of precarious work and the identification of how different factors interrelate e.g state re-regulation; austerity; technology; changes in labour markets; decline of trade unions; employer actions). We would expect a discussion of groups more likely to be in precarious work by demography; workplaces; sectors and explanations of why employers in some cases appear to favour drawing employees from such groups. This could be discussed within the framework of labour markets and asymmetry of power within the employment relationship. Different approaches to the management of organisations should be assessed the Bacon (2008) chapter on Blackboard is a very useful overview, and the essay should attempt to analyse why some employers rely on a precarious workforce whereas others do not. Status versus contract approaches to management could be drawn out in this discussion, and some analysis of factors that might drive precarious work including: the nature of product markets within which organisations operate; labour market factors; the prioritisation of flexibility by some employers; labour market factors; management ideologies and similar could all be used to contribute usefully to this second part of the question. Some reflection should be made on what benefits employers might gain from having a precarious workforce and how it might support their wider HRM strategies as well as the drawbacks and problems that can arise from a dependence on precarious work.