The problem of precarious work in the context of the discussion on social policy in Poland
The text consists of two parts. The first is an introduction to the problem of precarious work. The expression “precarious work” itself is derived from the word “precariat”. This term refers to people who are forced to undertake poor quality employment which is mostly precarious, temporary, low-paid, lacks promotion prospects, and is undertaken on the basis of flexible contracts etc. The easiest way that the prekariat can be characterized is by using such references as “junk” contracts, unsecured employment, inhumane overtime, lack of professional identity, low pension contributions or their total absence
The second part of the text presents precarious work from the perspective of Polish social policy. Above all, a speech by Elżbieta Rafalska, the Minister for Family, Labour and Social Policy was used. The speech was presented during a national conference entitled “Prekariat The Perspective of Catholic Social Science”, held in Częstochowa, Jasna Góra on 21 June 2016. Precarious work leads to negative social phenomena. They can be characterized briefly as “brain wasting”, which deprives young people of the opportunity to develop, and gives them a sense of being an unnecessary generation. In this way, the ethos of work is undermined. It ceases to be a service to another person, and becomes primarily a means of obtaining means of living and an instrument of the employer’s domination over employees.
Thee dilemmas posed by precarious work create considerable challenges for social policy in Poland. It is not enough to combat precarious, unstable employment, but work itself needs to be healed, so that its dignity is restored. That is why one should start with the fight against unemployment. Guy Standing’s ideas are worthy of consideration, as they propose a social policy that supports non-precarious workIn this respect, the ethical guidelines contained in the John Paul II’s encyclical “Laborem exercens” still appear to be valid.