Labour market analysis conventionally distinguishes amongst employees according to whether their contract of employment is 'permanent' or 'temporary'. The permanent contract of employment, best understood as a contract for an indefinite term, is the central form. It has served as the crucial pivot in the development of 'industrial citizenship' during much of the twentieth century. Most advanced capitalist societies, apart from isolated exceptions such as the United States, have followed a parallel historical course, whereby permanent employment - in particular in its full-time form - was installed both as the dominant form of employment and as the standard entry-point for access to a comprehensive set of industrial rights and benefits, including minimum wages and standardised working-time arrangements (Streeck 1992).
Work, Employment and Society Vol. 15, Issue 1, p. 171-184