Part-time work is on the rise

De­spite the growth of the phe­nom­e­non, this prac­tice ac­counts for only half of the EU av­er­age rate

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY ROULA SALOUROU

In a coun­try suf­fer­ing from a pro­tracted eco­nomic cri­sis and high un­em­ploy­ment, part-time em­ploy­ment of­fers a so­lu­tion to com­pa­nies strug­gling to stay afloat. It has also dou­bled in size since the start of the fi­nan­cial melt­down, a re­port by the Hel­lenic Fed­er­a­tion of En­ter­prises (SEV) shows.

De­spite a sig­nif­i­cant spike wit- nessed in the last decade that has seen about one in 10 work­ers in Greece tak­ing on a part-time job, this is roughly half the av­er­age rate in the 28 coun­tries of the Euro­pean Union, which comes to two in ev­ery 10 work­ers.

In its weekly bulletin yes­ter­day, SEV noted that in a pe­riod of cri­sis part-time work may be oblig­a­tory for both en­ter­prises and work­ers, but it is also be­com­ing an in­creas­ingly grow­ing prac­tice all over the world, fa­cil­i­tat­ing com­pa­nies to bet­ter reg­u­late their operational costs ac­cord­ing to de­mand fluc­tu­a­tions. It also al­lows work­ers to se­lect a type of em­ploy­ment that of­fers re­duced hours.

With Greece be­ing re­quired to re­struc­ture its pro­duc­tion model, SEV stresses that any ex­pec­ta­tions that emerg­ing from the cri­sis will sig­nal a dras­tic re­turn to full-time from part-time em­ploy­ment are not only con­trary to the in­ter­na­tional trend, but also put the future of lo­cal en­ter­prises at risk.

“Tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments and new pro­duc­tion mod­els are re­vers­ing en­trenched con­di­tions in the la­bor mar­ket, and en­ter­prises that are not able to keep up with their in­ter­na­tional com­peti­tors in these changes will run the risk of clo­sure,” SEV warned in its re­port.

An­a­lysts say that the spike in part-time jobs, mainly across small en­ter­prises, fol­lowed the re­duc­tion 1.0745 of the min­i­mum wage in 2012 and re­sulted in a de­cline of av­er­age salaries. SEV says only an eco­nomic rebound will al­low salaries to re­cover.

The Fed­er­a­tion also stresses a “neg­a­tive de­vel­op­ment” that may well have led to an in­crease in part­time em­ploy­ment, as cer­tain sec­tors in the mar­ket – par­tic­u­larly in less or­ga­nized en­ter­prises – have wit­nessed prac­tices of un­de­clared or partly un­de­clared la­bor.

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