A full load part time
Less days but longer hours –
CARA JENKIN CareerOne Editor
PART-TIME workers are putting in more hours each week to get their work done and many are still completing a full-time workload, research shows.
Part-time employees are defined as working less than 35 hours a week.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show part-time employees in 2000 were paid for working an average of 18.1 hours a week.
Ten years later, statistics show workers are being paid for an average of 22 hours a week.
Research undertaken by national workplace development group The 100% Project reveals more businesses are offering part-time jobs with more hours than a decade ago, through to nine-day fortnights or four-day weeks, to provide workers with flexibility while also meeting business demand.
But it also reveals many part-time staff also are working longer hours, completing full-time workloads in less time.
Board chairwoman Frances Feenstra says there is a false perception in the working community that many part-timers are not doing their share of the work and are being passed over for promotions because of it.
She says the group’s research shows 82 per cent of full-time men and 81 per cent of full-time women believe employees who work parttime are less motivated and committed to their careers.
But part-time workers are doing more work than many believe, she says.
‘‘The majority of both males, or 62.5 per cent, and females, or 75.7 per cent, agree that often people working part-time end up doing a full-time role within part-time hours, otherwise known as doing more with less,’’ she says.
‘‘Generally the view is that they are squeezing five days into four days because people don’t want to rock the boat.
‘‘The results also suggest that part-time workers are often not taken as seriously as full-time workers and can be perceived as unmotivated and not committed to their job or career.
‘‘This study reinforces the existence of stigmas associated with part-time work as key barriers which are impacting women’s progression into senior leadership – specifically the results showing that part-time work limits an individual’s promotion opportunity.’’
The research found 43 per cent of men and 33.8 per cent of women believe when a worker moves to a part-time role, their job is redesigned to ensure requirements can be met in fewer hours.
She says some part-time staff work weekends and after hours to get their tasks done and go the extra mile.
Carclew Youth Arts holiday program co-ordinator Narisha Cash, 31, has been working the national parttime average of 22 hours a week for two years.
She is required to work the 22 hours to complete her work but was able to negotiate her working times of 9am to 3pm, Monday to Thursday.
‘‘It allows me to pick my child up from school and work on other personal projects going on,’’ she says.