Involuntary part-time work

In some countries part-time work has grown significantly and in some cases this has been welcomed by women who want and can afford to work fewer hours to improve their work-life balance. However, there is also clear evidence that many women are stuck in part-time work when they want and need a full-time job.

Armenia

| Trade union: HWUA | Sector: Health and Social Services |

The phenomenon of part-time employment in Armenia is prevalent mainly in Yerevan, where – unlike in remote rural areas – there is a surplus of medical staff. So as not to swell the ranks of the unemployed, employers issue part-time contracts. Although this problem affects both men and women, the fact that 80% of doctors are women means that this ultimately has an impact on the larger number of working women. The National Healthcare Workers’ Union has repeatedly raised the issue of the need to implement state mechanisms to regulate human resources policy, but so far to no avail.

Austria

| Trade union: VIDA | Sector: Private health |

In the cleaning sector the percentage of part-time workers who would like a full-time job can be up to 40% (depending on the type of workplace). In the caring occupations part-time work is in demand because the physical and mental strain of full-time work is hard to cope with (for both women and men).

Czech Republic

| Trade union: TUHSSC | Sector: Health and Social Services |

The union has not engaged in social dialogue on this issue. As the health and social services sector generally experiences staffing shortages, part-time jobs in this sector are uncommon. If anything, staff are over-employed, i.e. they hold down a full-time job in one facility and also work part time elsewhere (emergency medical services are a typical example of this).

Denmark

| Trade union: HK Stat | Sector: National administration |

It is our understanding that there are very, very few women who are forced to have reduced working hours. If this does happen, we have agreements that ensure that we can be sure there are unbiased reasons for the reduction – since we have arrangements that ensure that all members must be offered more hours if the opportunity arises.

| Trade union: FOA | Sector: Municipal |

In 2007 a tripartite negotiation took place: “Based on the anticipated lack of manpower, the Danish government, Danish Confederation of Municipalities (KL), Danish Regions, the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) would like more part-time employees to have the opportunity to work more hours. This would help solve the public welfare problems. The government, KL, Danish Regions, LO and AC therefore have a joint goal to give those part-time workers who so wish, the opportunity to work full-time or more hours. The government, KL and Danish Regions are committed to working towards the achievement of this goal. The workplace is obliged to offer available hours to part-time workers and employees who wish to permanently increase their hours of work and who fulfil business-related requirements for qualifications and flexibility concerning hours, place and type of work etc. A part-time worker who has asked for more hours, but whose application is rejected must, upon request, receive a reason in writing. The government, KL, Danish Regions, LO and AC further agree that there is a requirement for specific proposals on how this obligation can be organised on a purely practical basis, including how to handle any disagreements. Work has therefore begun between the parties of this agreement in each of the collective bargaining areas, which must lead to the preparation of specific proposals and solutions. The work must be completed before 1 October 2007, with a view to initiatives being implemented as from 1 January, 2008. If no agreement is reached on specific proposals, discussions will take place between parties outside the agreement.” (Source: Tripartite agreement as per 17. June 2007)

Finland

| Trade union: FIPSU | Sector: Public sector |

We receive information on the number of part-time workers by title and gender, but not on the proportion of people who would like to be in full-time work. The proportion of part-time workers has remained quite stable and in 2008 they constituted, for example in the government sector, 8.1%. The biggest part-time worker groups are part-time pensioners and those on partial child-care leave; together they make up more than half of all part-time workers. On the basis of the results of Pardia’s member survey, approximately 50% of the rest of the part-time workers in the government sector would like to work full-time, although about an equal proportion of workers particularly wanted to do part-time work.

Germany

| Trade union: Ver.di | Sector: Public sector |

A preferential right of return of part-time workers to full-time posts is frequently negotiated at workplace level and also forms part of regulations on gender equality in the public sector.
Performance-related pay and bonus payments are also issues raised in workplace negotiations. Ver.di provides training in identifying and removing possible causes of discrimination.

Netherlands

| Trade union: Abvakabo | Sector: Public sector |

This issue is governed by law, the so called Wet Aanpassing Arbeidsduur (translated: Law Adjustment Workinghours). This law provides that employees have the right, under certain conditions, to increase or reduce their working hours. Our collective agreements contain no provisions on this subject, but Abvakabo FNV supports initiatives that makes it easier to get a larger part-time contract.

| Trade union: NU 91 | Sector: Health |

we have negotiated on this theme but not only for women in the elderly care its also an issue for men.

Norway

| Trade union: Fagforbundet | Sector: Municipal |

See attachment for an overview of the number of positions for women in the municipal sector.

This has been the theme for several wage settlements, especially in the municipal sector where the problem is greatest. Full time/part-time work has been considered in the joint committee and projects, and public reports have been made, along with taking other actions.

There is a separate provision in the tariff agreement – “The use of part-time positions”, which is being continually reinforced. The provision says among other things that as a basic principle, full time appointments should be made, exceptions must be discussed with union representatives, part-time employees must be offered a full-time position if there is a position vacant, the employer should inform and discuss the principles for the use of part-time positions with union representatives at least once a year and guidelines must be prepared with the aim of increasing the number of full-time employees.

The greatest challenge for increasing the number of full-time employees occurs in the municipalities. In many places part-time employees are used, especially in activities involving shift work, to “fill the gap”.

| Trade union: NSF – nurses | Sector: Health/Municipal |

Extent to which women are stuck in part-time jobs but want full-time employment / an increase in hours – Yes. To a degree, we have acquired better provisions for part time workers. For example, they now have, by law, priority to new positions in their work place. Also, in this year’s negotiations in the hospital sector, the social partners at the national level agreed that the local partners not only have to work out guidelines on how to minimise part time work, but employers need to present documentation on the need for part time if advertising a part time vacancy.

Romania

| Trade union: Sanitas | Sector: Health |

The negotiation with the employer was made through the Collective Agreement at the health care level. Because of the lack of personnel in the system all the jobs are full-time

Sweden

| Trade union: Kommunal | Sector: Municipal blue collar |

This is a question which is considered in central and local negotiations, and also in the political arena - with demands for legislation concerning the right to full-time employment if the employee so wishes. On the political level, it also concerns working for family and labour market policies which encourage men and women to share responsibility for the care of family and work more hours instead of only women working part time. One proposal for such a reform is a three-way division of parental leave in which one part is reserved for the mother and father and the optional third section decided between the parents.

UK

| Trade union: UNISON | Sector: Public Sector |

[2011 update] The focus of our policy on part time workers has been on achieving equal status, in recognition of the fact that part time work is an active choice for many who have caring or other commitments which preclude full time work. The focus is therefore on equal pay for work of equal value, equal rights to bonus and other pay enhancements, equal access to fair pensions and equal access to quality training and promotion. However, we also recognise that many part-time opportunities are limited to lower status work and we therefore seek to negotiate and to lobby for part time and job share applications to be considered for all jobs.

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