The Needs of the Precariat and How They Might Be Satisfied: The Polish Experience and Challenges Faced in This Area
Purpose: The cognitive purpose of this article is to define the specificity of the Polish precariat and their needs, as well as the degree to which they are realised in the context of the current policy that supports employment as well as the social policy of the Polish government. Its utilitarian purpose is to define a set of actions that may be undertaken by governments to meet the needs of the precariat and to reduce the size of this social group. Design/Methodology/Approach: In order to determine to what extent the current government in Poland meets the needs of the precariat, a questionnaire was devised and delivered via the Internet to a research panel of respondents. The study used a stratified-quota sample selection, corresponding to the proportions of people in Poland working on various fixed-term contracts or as self-employed. 1,000 respondents who work with flexible forms of employment participated in the study. The research was carried out at the end of March/ beginning of April 2021. The basis for determining the main types of needs felt by the Polish precariat was shaped by sociological research in this area conducted in Poland. Practical Implications: Taking into account the opinions of the Polish precariat, one should consider the need for governments (including the Polish government) to create tools for effective communication with members of the precariat. One potential solution to this problem may be the creation of a government portal that provides an accessible means of discovering the available tools and programs that promote employment, including the conditions for their eligibility, and offer know-how on entrepreneurship. A practical solution presented in this study is also a new approach to subsidies granted by employment offices to start one’s first business, a form of support that incorporates the possibility that members of the precariat might participate in businesses run within franchising networks. Originality/Value: In terms of value, this study aims to enrich knowledge about the precariat, their needs and life aspirations. It also provides suggestions on action that can be taken by governments and their agendas to scale back this phenomenon.