© 2020

Temporary Agency Workers in Italy and the UK

The Comparative Experience of Labour Market Disadvantage


Part of the Work and Welfare in Europe book series (RECOWE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Alessio Bertolini
    Pages 1-16
  3. Alessio Bertolini
    Pages 51-97
  4. Alessio Bertolini
    Pages 99-141
  5. Alessio Bertolini
    Pages 143-199
  6. Alessio Bertolini
    Pages 201-213
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 215-243

About this book


This book offers a comparative exploration of the various disadvantages experienced by a category of atypical workers compared to standard employees, in the UK and Italy, and considers whether and how the differences can be attributed to contrasting institutional settings and political economies.


Bertolini explores the lived experience of these workers, and demonstrates how institutional variables interact in complex ways with individual socio-demographic characteristics as well as the broader socio-economic context to shape individual disadvantages and engender different experiences of precariousness. 

Temporary Agency Workers in Italy and the UK will be of interest to students and scholars of political economy, sociology of work, welfare studies, labour market policy, and industrial relations.


social protection inequalities employment related disadvantages alternative employment atyplical workers

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

About the authors

Alessio Bertolini is Research Associate in the School of Law at the University of Glasgow, UK. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Temporary Agency Workers in Italy and the UK
  • Book Subtitle The Comparative Experience of Labour Market Disadvantage
  • Authors Alessio Bertolini
  • Series Title Work and Welfare in Europe
  • Series Abbreviated Title Work and Welfare in Europe
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-40191-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-40194-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-40192-4
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIII, 243
  • Number of Illustrations 6 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Comparative Social Policy
    Sociology of Work
    Labor Economics
    International Political Economy
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


Alessio Bertolini’s timely book provides a detailed, clear-sighted analysis of the disadvantage experienced by atypical workers. The rich insights gleaned from research with temporary agency workers in the UK and Italy highlight how institutional and workplace contexts shape individual experiences of disadvantage and precariousness. This book should be essential reading for researchers and students interested in how increasing insecurity in the workplace produces new forms of social risk and inequality that disadvantage vulnerable workers.” —Colin Lindsay, University of Strathclyde, UK

“What shapes atypical workers’ precariousness? This volume addresses the puzzle, providing an original and analytically sound investigation into the world of temporary agency workers’ perceived disadvantages related to employment, work and income conditions. A key contribution, which enriches both the institutional literature on labour market dualisation and studies on individual precariousness, relying on carefully conducted qualitative comparative research.”—Matteo Jessoula, University of Milan, Italy