Advertisement

An Exploration of Quality Part-Time Working in Europe, with a Focus on the UK Case

  • Clare LyonetteEmail author
  • Beate Baldauf
  • Heike Behle
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)

Abstract

Part-time working may seem like an ideal solution for women wanting to maintain a work-life balance and increase well-being. Indeed, part-time working is common across many European countries. Evidence from the UK, however, shows that because of the limited part-time options available in highly-skilled jobs, many women compromise by crowding into lower-level part-time jobs. Part-time workers are also at a disadvantage in terms of access to training and development opportunities, with longer-term career implications. In spite of these identified career penalties, evidence has shown that women like part-time work and flexibility in their working hours and report lower work-life conflict than full-time working women. In this chapter, we draw on qualitative data from the UK government-funded Quality Part-Time Work Fund initiative, set up to increase the wider availability of better part-time job opportunities.

Keywords

Part-time Careers Work-life balance Flexibility Europe Well-being 

References

  1. Anxo, D., Fagan, C., Smith, M., Letablier, M. T., & Perraudin, C. (2007). Part-time work in European companies: Establishment survey on working time 2004–2005. Dublin: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.Google Scholar
  2. Aston, J., Clegg, M., Diplock, E., Ritchie, H., & Willison, R. (2004) Interim update of key indicators of women’s position in Britain (Institute for Employment Studies). London: Women and Equality Unit/Department of Trade and Industry.Google Scholar
  3. Biggart, L., & O’Brien, M. (2009). Fathers’ working hours: Parental analysis from the third work-life balance employee survey and maternity and paternity rights and benefits survey of parents. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Employment Relations Occasional Paper (November), London.Google Scholar
  4. Booth, A. L., & van Ours, J. C. (2008). Job satisfaction and family happiness: The part-time work puzzle. The Economic Journal, 118(526), F77–F99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Crompton, R., & Lyonette, C. (2007). Are we all working too hard? Women, men, and changing attitudes to paid employment. In A. Park, J. Curtice, K. Thomson, M. Phillips, & M. Johnson (Eds.), British Social Attitudes: the 23rd Report – Perspectives on a changing society (pp. 55–70). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  6. Crompton, R., & Lyonette, C. (2008). Who does the housework? The division of labour within the home. In A. Park, J. Curtice, K. Thomson, M. Phillips, & M. Johnson (Eds.), British social attitudes: The 24th report. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  7. Crompton, R., & Lyonette, C. (2010). Family, class and gender ‘Strategies’ in maternal employment and childcare. In J. Scott, R. Crompton, & C. Lyonette (Eds.), Gender inequalities in the 21st century. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  8. Darton, D., & Hurrell, K. (2005). ‘People working part-time below their potential’. EOC, September, Manchester.Google Scholar
  9. Durbin, S., & Tomlinson, J. (2010). Female part-time managers: Networks and career mobility. Work Employment and Society, 24(4), 621–640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. European Foundation. (2011). Part-time work in Europe. European Company Survey 2009. http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/pubdocs/2010/86/en/3/EF1086EN.pdf. (Author: Eszter Sandor).
  11. European Social Statistics. (2013). Eurostat European Commission (p. 143). Luxumberg: Publications Office of the European Union.Google Scholar
  12. European Union. (2013). European social statistics 2013. Eurostat Pocket Books: Luxembourg, Publications Office of the European Union.Google Scholar
  13. Fawcett Society. (2013, April). The changing labour market: delivering for women, delivering for growth.Google Scholar
  14. Gash, V., Mertens, A., & Gordo, L. R. (2012). The influence of changing hours of work on women’s life satisfaction. The Manchester School, 80(1), 51–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ginn, J., Arber, S., Brannen, J., Dale, A., Dex, S., Elias, P., Moss, P., Pahl, J., Roberts, C., & Rubery, J. (1996). Feminist fallacies: A reply to Hakim on women’s employment. British Journal of Sociology, 47(10), 167–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Government Equalities Office (GEO). (2010, February). Working towards equality: A framework for action.Google Scholar
  17. Grant, L., Yeandle, S., & Buckner, L. (2005). Working below potential: Women and part-time work (EOC Working Paper Series No 40). Manchester: Equal Opportunities Commission.Google Scholar
  18. Hakim, C. (2002). Lifestyle preferences as determinants of women’s differentiated labour market careers. Work and Occupations, 29(4), 428–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hakim, C. (2003). Models of the family in modern societies: Ideals and realities. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  20. Hegewisch, A., & Gornick, J. C. (2011). The impact of work-family policies on women’s employment: A review of research from OECD countries. Community, Work and Family, 14(2), 119–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hipp, L., & Stuth, S. (2013). Management und Teilzeit? – Eine empirische Analyse zur Verbreitung von Teilzeitarbeit unter Managerinnen und Managern in Europa. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 65(1), 101–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kalleberg, A. L., Reskin, B. F., & Hudson, K. (2000). Bad jobs in America: Standard and nonstandard employment relations and job quality in the United States. American Sociological Review, 65(April), 256–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lewis, S. (2007). Working time, client time and family time: Accounting for time in the accountancy profession. In T. van der Lippe & P. Peters (Eds.), Competing claims in work and family life. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  24. Lewis, J. (2009). Work–family balance, gender and policy. Cheltenham/Northampton: Edward Elgar.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lewis, J., Campbell, M., & Huerta, C. (2008). Patterns of paid and unpaid work in Western Europe: Gender, commodification, preferences and the implications for policy. Journal of European Social Policy, 18(1), 21–37. doi: 10.1177/0958928707084450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lewis, S., Anderson, D., Lyonette, C., Payne, N., & Wood, S. (under review). Public sector cuts and the work-life balance agenda: under threat or a burning platform for change?. Work Employment and Society.Google Scholar
  27. Lyonette, C., & Crompton, R. (2008). The only way is up? An examination of women’s “under-achievement” in the accountancy profession in the UK. Gender in Management, 23(7), 506–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lyonette, C., Baldauf, B., & Behle, H. (2010, March). “Quality” part-time work: A review of the evidence. Government Equalities Office, http://www.equalities.gov.uk/pdf/Review%20of%20Evidence.pdf
  29. OECD. (2010, March). Gender brief. Social Policy Division.Google Scholar
  30. Olsen, W., & Walby, S. (2004, Winter). Modelling gender pay gaps (Equal Opportunities Commission Working Paper, No. 17).Google Scholar
  31. Purcell, K., Hogarth, T., & Simm, C. (1999). Whose flexibility? Joseph Rowntree Foundation.Google Scholar
  32. Rasmussen, E., Lind, J., & Visser, J. (2005). Divergence in part-time work in New Zealand, The Netherlands and Denmark. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 42, 637–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Román, A. (2006). Deviating from the standard: Effects on labor continuity and career patterns. Amsterdam: Dutch University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Scott, J., & Dex, S. (2009). Paid and unpaid work: Can policy improve gender inequalities? In J. Miles & R. Probert (Eds.), Sharing lives, dividing assets: An interdisciplinary study (pp. 41–60). Oxford: Hart.Google Scholar
  35. Tomlinson, J., Olsen, W., & Purdam, K. (2009). Women returners and potential returners: Employment profiles and labour market opportunities-A case study of the United Kingdom. European Sociological Review, 25(3), 349–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Women and Work Commission (WWC). (2006). Shaping a fairer future. http://www.equalities.gov.uk/what_we_do/women_and_work/women_and_work_commission.aspx
  37. Women and Work Commission. (2009). Shaping a fairer future: A review of the recommendations of the Women and Work Commission three years on. http://www.equalities.gov.uk/pdf/WWC%20Report%20web.pdf

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Employment ResearchUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

Personalised recommendations