Socio-economic aspects of precariat development
The authors of the article state that the development of precariat is a social phenomenon produced by the neoliberal political and economic project, for the scientific analysis of which both worldwide and in Lithuania, according to the authors, insufficient attention is paid. The article introduces a qualitative analysis reviewing the formation and development of precariat, as a comparatively new qualitative economic-social phenomenon. The influence of this phenomenon for various areas of the societal life has not raised any doubts recently, yet they have huge influence on such areas as closer and more distant work environment, the opportunities of social dialogue and social security of employees.
Theoretically it is not clear if the development of precariat should be considered as the formation of “some kind of class” with its own attributes, or “work status”, where an employee is merely short of a number of things within his work environment and his social security rights are not ensured. Even though for some “voluntary” precariat representatives such unstable, “unbound” situation associates with the “economics of happiness”, for many members of involuntary precariat it marks a much greater exploitation by the employers, less security, “dequalification” and worse rights in the area of social security.
At the end of the article the authors provide their conclusions and proposals regarding the issues related to the undefined status of precariat, as well as possible solutions. Increasing the scope of social security and the ensuring the guarantees of self-employed is one of the measures in socially oriented countries to solve the issues related to the precariat.
Allocation of basic, universal income for all residents is one of the possibly effective measures in improving the situation of precariat and other residents and ensuring social safeness in modern world. Another needed measure for overcoming the negative conditions of precariousness is effective social work with its reviving of values of life and people abilities by means of social services in the present world. Social work with its professional and ethical strength can enable the necessary “participative” and “empowerment” changes in policy and politics on the local, national and international levels and development towards social cohesion and sustainability in society.
Keywords: precariat, unstability, social rights, basic income, social work.