Self-employed or not self-employed? Working conditions of ‘economically dependent workers’ - Background paper
In recent years, practices such as outsourcing and contracting-out have increasingly blurred the boundaries between dependent employment and self-employment. A new group of workers has emerged, which comprises workers who are formally ‘self-employed’, but present some characteristics of employees. These ‘economically dependent workers’ usually have a commercial contract (or ‘service contract’) rather than an employment contract; they are therefore registered as self-employed when in reality their working conditions have a lot in common with those of employees. The purpose of this short exploratory paper is to investigate the position of these economically dependent workers and to find out whether overall their working conditions are more similar to those of the self-employed or to those of employees. This exercise builds on data from the 2010 wave of the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS).