Every other part-timer wants longer working hours

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Every other part-timer, approximately 500 000 persons, wants longer working hours. Most of them, some 280 000 persons, work part-time due to the fact that the employer does not offer full-time work or no full-time work is available. The remaining 220 000 part-timers want, but cannot, work longer working hours owing to poor health or reduced work capacity.
These are some of the findings of the LO report “Working Hours 2009 – Full-time and part-time work ranged according to class and gender 1990 – 2009”.

The right to full-time work is a question of class and gender. Many women blue-collar workers have not chosen to work part-time and are not in a position to support themselves. This is flexibility on employers’ terms. By having part-time employees who want to work l
onger hours, the employer always has workforce available if needed, while the employees are forced to live in insecurity without knowing if they can earn their own living, LO President Wanja Lundby-Wedin says.

It is not acceptable that so many people, above all women in LO professions, are forced to work part-time in spite of their readiness and capacity to work more. This is the reason why LO national unions have agreed upon claiming the right to full-time work in the upcoming round of negotiations, Per Bardh, LO Negotiating Secretary, states.

Sweden has some 3.9 million employees and out of these some 27 per cent, mainly women and blue-collar workers, work part-time. 41 per cent of all gainfully employed women work part-time, while 12 per cent of men do so. The disparity is striking among LO members. 50 per cent of LO women and only 9 per cent of LO men work part-time.

Every other part-timer chooses to do so. The most common reasons are child care and studies. The other half, some 500 000 persons, work part-time involuntarily and want longer hours. Some 220 000 of these cannot, however, do so owing to sickness/reduced work capacity or lack of strength.

The remaining 280 000 persons, 27 per cent of all part-timers, both want and can work longer hours but cannot find full-time employment. It is this group, in the first place, who would benefit from the right to full-time employment concluded by collective agreements. Out of these, 80 per cent are women and 70 per cent are blue-collar workers.

It is outrageous that so many women are forced to work part-time, because their work is so burdensome that they cannot cope with a full-time employment. Drastic measures for the improvement of the working environment and work organisation are needed, Wanja Lundby-Wedin concludes.