Importance and applications

Status in employment reflects contractual arrangements and as such it is an important tool to monitor the changes that are taking place in many countries (particularly industrialized ones), especially among dependent workers whose status of employment is unclear, either because they (i) are in a situation similar to ‘paid employment’ but which is disguised as a self-employment situation; or (ii) are in an ambiguous situation with characteristics of both ‘paid employment’ and ‘self employment’; or (iii) are working under a triangular employment relationship in which it is not clear who the real employer is, what the workers’ rights are and who is responsible for them. Status in employment is also a relevant instrument to describe the informal sector and essential to define informal employment, which consists of jobs in enterprises classified to the informal sector as well as paid employment jobs in formal sector units that are not subject to standard labour legislation, taxation, social protection or entitlement to certain employment benefits or represent own-account workers producing goods for which own final use by their households.

The main users of a status in employment classification are users and producers of statistics on the type of economic risks and authority that the employed population experience in their jobs, as well as for those using and producing statistics on the socio-economic situation (status) of persons and households, as the classifications used for this variable makes use of status-in-employment categories.

The different users would like the classification to make distinctions which correspond to the different forms of contractual situations that exists for employed persons and the way that these distribute economic risks and authority between the employed persons.