A common distinction regarding the quality of work is between the extrinsic and the intrinsic rewards of work. The extrinsic rewards include pay, working time and (job) security (relating to the employment contract), whereas the intrinsic rewards include such aspects as job content, autonomy, opportunity for development, work pressure and the meaningfulness of work (vs. so-called ‘bullshit jobs’). The opportunities for social interaction (with colleagues, superiors, clients etc.) that a job offers could be added as a third element.
With respect to all three elements of the quality of work, there are indications for an unfavourable evolution over time, albeit not uniformly and not to the same extent for all employed persons. We will study both the causes of these trends and the role that regulation and various actors can play in improving the quality of work.
Besides the perspective of the worker, the perspective of the employer or the entrepreneur with regard to the quality of work will also be addressed. Questions that may arise in this respect include the extent to which the existing regulations and the role of the social actors support or hinder the optimal utilisation of labour in the production process.