The increase in flexible work has created interest in the consequences for workers. This has included concern about the potentially harmful effects of temporary employment contracts which are now widely used in many countries and which have been the focus of legislation within Europe. This introductory chapter sets out this context, and describes the aims of the study which are to examine the impact of temporary employment on the well‐being of workers, using the lens of the psychological contract. It provides an operational definition of temporary work and sets out the analytic framework for the research based on the psychological contract. The role of the psychological contract and other potential intervening variables is outlined and the concept of work‐related well‐being and ways in which it can usefully be operationalised is described. The structure of the book and the content of the subsequent chapters is outlined.
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