updated: 23 August 2007


Parasubordinate status
Specific to Italy, the term 'parasubordinate' refers to a form of employment in which the worker is subordinate to the employer but still has the status of self-employment. In other countries, such an employment relationship, which combines the disadvantages of both employment and self-employment with the advantages of neither, is sometimes referred to as pseudo self-employment. However it is rare for this to be legally recognised.
See also atypical work.
Parental leave
Parental leave is the right to take time off work to look after a child or make arrangements for the child's welfare. Norms differ throughout Europe but a general trait is that both male and female employees (including male and female employees who are adoptive parents) are entitled to take paid or unpaid leave to look after a child up to a specified age. Parental leave should not be confused with maternity leave or paternity leave , which are granted to mothers and fathers respectively at the time of both (or, in some countries and under some collective agreements, at the time of adoption in the case of an adopted child).
Path dependency
The term 'path dependency' refers to the tendency for institutional shaping to take place in a particular region or country because of the particular historical patterns which have formed these institutions.
(Source: Ursula Huws)
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Peripheral workers
See Core/periphery model
Physical health issues
Physical health issues refer to all kinds of health problems that can be measured or diagnosed by external observation.
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The concept of post-Fordism emerged in international scientific debate from the mid 70s as an interpretative category capable of summarising the radical changes underway in main western economic production systems
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Post-industrialisation refers to a long-term process that transforms social relations in all spheres of social life.
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Production paradigms
A term which is used by analysts to group a range of different approaches to the organisation of production including Fordism, flexible specialisation, learning organisation, just-in-time production, lean organisation and transitional organisation.
Professional mobility
The term professional mobility refers to the possibility for workers of build articulated professional patterns, formed by a multiplicity of job experiences.
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Project organisation
Project organisation is a temporary form of work organisation built around a specific customer order or company internal task. Projects can include additional tasks of line employees (implementation of new technology) or the work, e.g. R&D, software development etc, may fully be organised in the form of projects, i.e. these are the main organisational units. In some sectors (construction, film, TV etc) projects may comprise several companies. See also teamworking and virtual teams.
Pseudo self-employment
See Parasubordinate status and Atypical work
Psychological complaints
Psychological complaints refer to all kinds of health problems experienced by the worker that can only be measured through self reporting. This includes subjective health complaints, stress at work, burnout, low job satisfaction, feeling of job insecurity. While seemingly vaguer than physical health issues the psychological complaints should be taken seriously and regarded as equally real to those who experience them.
Public-private partnership
Public-private partnerships (sometimes abbreviated to PPP) are an increasingly common mechanism adopted in the outsourcing of work from the public sector. In some cases such partnerships may involve a range of different bodies, including voluntary organisations, public bodies and private companies. They are normally set up with the specific aim of managing a particular aspect of service delivery. Sometimes, but not always, this involves a permanent transfer or personnel from the public sector to the partnership which becomes the new employer. In other cases, there may be a temporary secondment of staff during a transitional period.