The Office of National Statistics has today announced that many people in the UK are having to take part time work rather than full time when seeking employment. The figure is at its highest level since records began 20 years ago.
Whilst it may be unfortunate that those people seeking full time work can only take up part time work, at least, they are in employment, keeping up their skills until hopefully the economy returns to normal and more opportunities for full time work returns. They are also avoiding the benefits trap.
Part time work as part of flexible working can, however, benefit both employer and employee. For an employer it may be more effective to offer part time hours certainly keeping costs down which is important during these difficult economic times. With a fixed budget an employer can still bring in skilled and experienced labour without breaking the bank. The use of part time labour can reduce pressure on full time employees and cut an employer’s overtime bill. Part time working can increase productivity and provide an advantage over competitors.
Part time working can include working shorter days or fewer days in the week, but also term time working and job sharing. Part time employees should be treated the same as any full time employees which includes offering the same terms and conditions and equal treatment. Consideration to communication is key as part time employees need to be kept in the loop given they are not present in the workplace all the time.
For an employee the benefits of part time working can be having a better work life balance, improved health and well being and time for other responsibilities.