In today’s rapidly-changing business environment, the need for labor market flexibility is crucial for companies to adapt and respond to change. Working time arrangements allow companies to compete better in globalised economy, and allow employees to achieve work-life balance. There are various types of working time arrangements (WTAs) such as part-time work, unusual working hours, flexible working hours and shift work.
Part-time work is one of the most commonly used ‘atypical’ WTAs in Europe, shaping working time regimes across countries and mapping work-life balance patterns. (Dominic Anxo). Therefore, this report examines the influence of national institutions on part-time arrangements in different sectors and how it affects the quality and organisation of part-time work within establishments across three countries, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Germany. The report analyses the effects of this working time arrangements on employees and employers flexibility.
While part-time work is widely adopted in Netherlands, UK and Germany, the incidence of part-time work in establishments varies across the three countries. According to the Establishment Survey on Working Time (EWST) 2004-20051, Netherlands has the highest proportion of part-time work, as 89% of establishments have part-time employees in their workforce (Anxo, 2007). Germany and UK also have a very high proportion of more than three quarters of establishments applying part-time work. The Eurostat survey2 has shown that these countries with high incidence of part-time work also have a larger proportion of ‘high-incidence companies (20% or more of the workforce are part-time workers) (Sandor, 2009).
The variations in part-time rates across these countries is attribut...
... middle of paper ...
...according to the sector it operates in.
The Establishment Survey on Working Time 2004-2005 (EWST) revealed that in the service sector such as hotels and restaurants, the main reason for part-time work was related to the needs of the establishment, whereas in the industry sector such as manufacturing, the main reason reported was to meet the wishes of the employees (Anxo, 2007). This evidence shows that sector the organisation operates in affects the organisation of working time. Due to the different sector characteristics, the services sector require more flexibility than industry sectors to respond to fluctuating demands through part-time work to match peaks and troughs of service demands (Rubery). In this case, employers seek flexibility to adapt working time arrangements to business demands, [Leads to the organising part-time work with other working arrangements]
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