The new politics of time

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New forms of temporal contestation are taking place in the world of work. UK employers are requiring from workers heightened levels of availability and responsiveness to work, as and when needed. These demands are playing out differently in different parts of the labour market. The overall effect, though, is an inhibiting of workers’ ability to enjoy time free from work. Current regulation of work and working time that aims to limit or ensure compensation for this time do not adequately address the problem.

The article presents an in-depth sociological analysis of these temporal work patterns. This enables an evaluation of the conceptual shifts required to the categories of work and working time in order than they may encompass these new temporal trends. It is concluded that an alternative approach that specifically focuses on preventing new extreme forms of flexibility is a better strategy to ensure a fairer outcome for workers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-394
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • labour law
  • information and communication technologies (ICT)
  • work-personal life
  • working time


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