FAIRER SEX “PENALISED’ FOR WORKING PART-TIME

PUBLISHED: 13:18 09 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:37 06 May 2010

Are you penalised for working part-time?

Are you penalised for working part-time?

SCORES of women suffer a penalty for working part-time, research just out suggests. According to a report in Centrepiece, the magazine of the Centre for Economic Performance, females who have part-time jobs earn 26 per cent less per hour than their full-t

SCORES of women suffer a penalty for working part-time, research just out suggests.

According to a report in Centrepiece, the magazine of the Centre for Economic Performance, females who have part-time jobs earn 26 per cent less per hour than their full-time counterparts.

Alan Manning and Barbara Petrongolo, the report's authors, said the overall pay gap between men and women had fallen in the last 30 years.

But they added that there has been an important difference in the fortunes of full and part-time women and point to several possible reasons for this.

For example, researchers found that part-time female members of staff are more likely to have low levels of education, and to have partners and dependent young children.

They are also more likely to be in low-level occupations.

Almost 25 per cent are shop assistants, care assistants or cleaners, figures reveal.

Only 15 per cent of full-time women are managers, compared to just 4.4 per cent of part-time women.

"While the aggregate part-time pay penalty has risen over time, almost all of this rise can be explained by the rising contribution of occupational segregation," the report said.

"Women working part-time have failed to match the occupational upgrades made by women who work full-time.

"Rising UK wage inequality has also acted to widen the pay gap between women working part-time and women working full-time, as it has widened the pay gap between high-level and low-level occupations."

The report highlighted the difficulty women have when wanting to reduce their hours and work part-time rather than full-time.

Many female staff are refused these requests and are then forced to change employer or occupation to accommodate what they need to do and usually, on the whole end up making a downward move.

However, although the UK has the highest part-time pay penalty in the EU, it also has much better levels of job satisfaction than most other countries.

In 2005, the Equal Opportunities Commission found female part-timers earned 40 per cent less.

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