The labour market has always been characterised by inequalities, but in recent decades, many types of inequality between workers have grown. As a consequence, the labour market is increasingly characterised by gaps between various groups. One of the most pronounced gaps is that between well-protected workers with a permanent job and a broad range of workers with an ‘atypical’ or ‘non-standard’ contract, such as fixed-term contracts, agency work and on-call work, who are far less well protected. Other important gaps are those between high-educated and low-educated workers, between well-paid and low-paid workers and between immigrant and native workers. The ‘old’ gap between male and female workers, although slowly narrowing, is also remarkably persistent.
In its research programme AIAS-HSI will focus on the causes of these gaps, including the role of existing regulation and social actors, on the one hand, and on options for bridging these gaps on the other hand.