Paid Informal Work: A Barrier to Social Inclusion?

Transfer: Journal of the European Trade Union Institute, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 25-40.

17 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2015

See all articles by Colin Williams

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

Jan E. Windebank

University of Sheffield - Department of French

Date Written: 2001

Abstract

Paid informal work has been conventionally viewed as a barrier to social inclusion. Conceived as exploitative low-paid employment conducted by marginalised populations for unscrupulous employers, such work has been considered to prevent social inclusion, in that it denies employees access to the normal social rights attached to formal employment and takes away jobs from the formal sector. Its eradication is thus pursued so that ‘social inclusion’ (i.e. insertion into formal employment) can be achieved. The aim of this paper is to evaluate critically this conceptualisation of paid informal work and social inclusion. Drawing upon case study evidence from deprived neighbourhoods in British cities, we first show that the vast majority of paid informal work is conducted by and for neighbours, friends and relatives for the purpose of either redistribution or community building. We then argue that a policy of eradicating this work reduces rather than ameliorates ’social inclusion’ in the sense of enabling citizens to help each other out. To conclude we explore the policy implications of our findings.

Keywords: Informal sector, household work practices, livelihoods, economic development, England

JEL Classification: H26, J46, K42, O17

Suggested Citation

Williams, Colin and Windebank, Jan E., Paid Informal Work: A Barrier to Social Inclusion? (2001). Transfer: Journal of the European Trade Union Institute, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 25-40. , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2708032

Colin Williams (Contact Author)

University of Sheffield - School of Management ( email )

15 Conduit Road
Sheffield, S10 1FL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/staff/williams/index

Jan E. Windebank

University of Sheffield - Department of French ( email )

United Kingdom
(0114) 222 4888 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.shef.ac.uk/french/staff/jwindebank.html

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
7
Abstract Views
210
PlumX Metrics