Title

'Full time is a given here': part-time versus full-time job quality

Document Type

Article

Publication details

McDonald, P, Bradley, L & Brown, K, 2009, 'Full time is a given here': part-time versus full-time job quality, British Journal of Management, vol 20, no. 2, pp. 143-157.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8551.2008.00560.x

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

This study explores full-time workers' understanding of and assumptions about part-time work against six job quality components identified in recent literature. Forty interviews were conducted with employees in a public sector agency in Australia, a study context where part-time work is ostensibly ‘good quality’ and is typically long term, voluntary, involving secure contracts (i.e. permanent rather than casual) and having predictable hours distributed evenly over the week and year. Despite strong collective bargaining arrangements as well as substantial legal and industrial obligations, the findings revealed some serious concerns for part-time job quality. These concerns included reduced responsibilities and lesser access to high status roles and projects, a lack of access to promotion opportunities, increased work intensity and poor workplace support. The highly gendered, part-time labour market also means that it is women who disproportionately experience this disadvantage. To foster equity, greater attention needs to focus on monitoring and enhancing job quality, regardless of hours worked.