This publication examines how part-time and temporary employment have been gaining in importance in Western Europe since the 1980s as a possible solution to persistent unemployment, underemployment and reconciling work and family life. A special focus is placed on how workers with non-standard employment contracts are disadvantaged with regard to unemployment insurance benefits. Four countries are covered that correspond to one of each of the welfare regimes found in Western Europe: Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. The publication concludes that actively promoting forms of non-standard employment has helped to increase employment by allowing some groups to enter or re-enter the labour market. On the other hand, it has also enhanced labour market segmentation by increasing the risk of unemployment, inactivity and insufficient social insurance coverage among specific labour market groups.