Poll reveals part-time penalty for careers

8th January, 2013 11:43 am

However the economy fares, this government is headed towards being the worst ever in terms of regression in job quality.

Fixated on the headline job figures, the Coalition has allowed part-time work and underemployment to blossom. A quarter of those in part-time roles say they want to work longer each week. Figures released today show apart from being less well-paid, part-time work often comes with a career penalty.

A new poll of 1,163 employed people, performed by Survation as part of the Unions21 Fair Work Commission has found 6 in 10 say their current job is just a way to pay the bills until they can find something better, rather than one step in part of a longer career. This is higher for part-time workers (76.6%) than full-time (54.8%).

Part-time workers are more likely to see ‘lack of opportunities to progress’ in their jobs as a barrier to workplace fairness, with 18.7% identifying it as their priority.

Any Labour vision of “fair work” must include the opportunity to advance, with workplace training a key factor. The poll found that part-time workers rated their current workplace training as worse, with only 31.14% rating it ‘good’ compared with 44.3% of full-time employees.

From the policies we presented in the survey, working people picked ‘a guaranteed minimum level of training for all employees’ as their favourite (40.5%). They also favoured an extension of paid time-off for training for basic skills to those up to the age of 25 (up from age 18) (17.3%), and a commitment from employers to give all employees statements on the training they should expect (15.6%).

These new figures should encourage Labour to make ‘fair work’ a priority issue in its policy review – and to challenge the Coalition on its record on job quality.

Dan Whittle is the Director of Unions21

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  • John Muldoon

    Colin Crooks has an equally brilliant analysis of under-employment, part-time working and worklessness in his book “How to make a million jobs – a charter for social enterprise”.

  • If it’s all so simple, why doesn’t the TUC show the way and buy up some of these companies that are going bust and re-employ the staff at the living wage, full time with the training that is necessary? Is it because it would lose money?

    • JoeDM

      Didn’t Tony Benn try something like that when he encouraged the setting up of cooperatives way back in the mid 70s when he was Industry Minister and it turned out to be a very costly waste of taxpayers money.

  • LordElpus

    “the Coalition has allowed part-time work and underemployment to blossom.”

    The *Coalition* has allowed this?

    Is it not the companies themselves that have asked their employees if they would prefer to lose hours or have redundancies in order to keep the company afloat during these testing times?

    Is it not the companies that have tried to keep experienced skilled staff on their books so that they have the staff with the relevant skills when the economy turns?

    It seems Mr Whittle as though you have found the questions to fit a pre-determined answer.

  • JoeDM

    Having a part time job is better than having no job at all.


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