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Increasingly, employees are being falsely treated as ‘self-employed’. This phenomenon – the ‘gig economy’ – is seen as the inevitable shape of things to come. In this book, Colin Crouch takes a step back and questions this logic. He shows how the idea of an employee – a stable status that involves a bundle of rights – has maintained a curious persistence. Examining the ways companies are attacking these rights, from proffering temporary work to involuntary part-time work to ‘gigging’, he reveals the paradoxes of the situation and argues that it should not and cannot continue. He goes on to propose reforms to reverse the perverse incentives that reward irresponsible employers and punish good ones, setting out an agenda for a realistic future of secure work. Crouch’s penetrating analysis will be of interest to everyone interested in the future of work, the welfare state and the gig economy.