APT Initiatives
APT Business & Economics Resources
Minimising Workloads, Maximising Performance
Established in 1999

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Part-time employees / staff

Employees contracted to work for a business for fewer than a standard thirty-five to forty hours per week. For example, working mornings, afternoons or evenings only, or working during school hours, certain days of the week, weekends, or alternate weeks. Term time contracts are popular for parents, more commonly mothers, who do not wish to work in the school holidays, possibly due to difficulties in finding someone to look after their children and / or the cost of child care. Part-time work may also involve job-sharing where two (or more) people share what was traditionally a full-time job. This can provide a business with greater flexibility as both parties could be brought in at times of high demand. Greater continuity may be possible with regard to cover in case of absence, holiday, etc. In addition, different viewpoints can result in better quality decisions. On the other hand, it can lead to conflict and poor motivation as neither one person has complete ownership and accountability over the job. Regular communication is also essential to avoid duplication of effort. Approximately 25% of the UK labour force works part-time. Part-time contracts have increased as a result of the number of women returning to work after having children. Retired people, together with students, also make up a significant part of the part-time labour force. Some full-time workers may also supplement their jobs with part-time work. Part-time work is most common in lower paid occupations.

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