The growth of non‐standard or atypical forms of employment, such as part‐time, casual work and so on, represents one of the most dramatic changes in the structure of employment in Australia and other countries since the late 1970s. Management employment strategies have been identified as a major causal factor in the expansion of non‐standard employment. Employers are increasingly using these atypical forms of employment as a means of lowering direct labour costs. Argues, however, that there are a number of hidden costs involved in using non‐standard employment that are not commonly taken into consideration. Highlights the negative effects atypical employment can have on work relations, and the motivation of employees, based on a detailed hospital case study and other evidence. Argues that atypical labour may serve to undermine quality standards and the attainment of business strategies.
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