Non-standard forms of employment in some Asian countries: a study of wages and working conditions of temporary workers

Type Book
Title Non-standard forms of employment in some Asian countries: a study of wages and working conditions of temporary workers
Volume 69
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Publisher ILO
City Geneva
Country/State Switzerland
URL of Work and​Employment Series No. 69.pdf
This study aims at examining the effects of temporary jobs on employment conditions in selected Asian countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Pakistan, based on their national Labour Force Survey data. In general, temporary work accounted for an important proportion of wage employment in these Asian countries, with great variation across nations. Wage differentials between temporary and permanent workers depend highly on the arrangement form (fixed-term or casual, full-time or part-time, written or oral contract), and on the relative position in the wage distribution. In some cases hourly wage penalties of temporary jobs turn into a premium when it concerns temporary part-timers, and particularly fixed term contract workers in Cambodia. The temporary wage premium in Cambodia is partially explained by the fact that a number of ‘better’ jobs take the form of written temporary contracts with relatively high wage rate whereas many other more precarious low-paid jobs are characterized by permanent nature (e.g. unlimited oral contract). Thus, controlling for type of contract/agreement, in addition to duration, changes, to some extent, the wage gap pattern, inducing clearance of temporary wage premium, but some inconclusive results remain. However, in most cases, temporary wage gaps are negative and do substantially vary along wage distribution. Both “sticky floors” and “glass ceiling” are revealed. The temporary wage gap is wider at the bottom of the wage distribution in Vietnam, suggesting that the penalty of being in temporary jobs could be more severe for disadvantaged workers, whereas “glass ceiling” effect in Pakistan prevents temporary workers from approaching high wages, particularly at the top of the wage distribution. Besides suffering from pay gaps, temporary wage workers are also penalised in other terms such as social security coverage and corporate benefits. Although there is no clear evidence of temporary employment penalty regarding employer provided training, temporary workers do suffer from a general lack of other formal training opportunities relative to permanent full-timers. Finally, the temporary employment penalty related to occupational health risk is another important issue that should be addressed in labour market and employment policies in these Asian countries.

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