Part time workers 'seen as slackers'

Mar 04 2004 by Brian Amble Print This Article

One in four people in the UK believe that part-time workers are less committed to their work than their full-time colleagues, according to a new a survey.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) surveyed 1007 adults and warned that the widespread negative perceptions of part-time work were harming career progression and pay.

But despite part-time working in the civil service doubling over the last ten years and some government departments leading the way in flexible working, part-time workers continue to lose out in pay, progression and appraisals.

Two-thirds of part-time workers in the civil service at the lowest grades, the PCS says, and they earn on average 3,000 less pro rata than full-time workers.

However the poll also found that a year after the introduction of flexible working rights almost seven out of ten employers allow their employees to adopt working patterns that help them to balance work and home life.

"The poll shows that people are increasingly being given the option to work flexibly through part-time working such as term-time only hours," said Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS union.

"Worryingly though, people who do so are viewed by a sizeable minority of their colleagues as putting less effort in and often lose out on career progression and pay.

"If flexible working is to become a true reality there is still a lot to be done in breaking down negative perceptions to options such as part-time working, as well as making serious headway on parity in pay and progression between full and part time workers, he says."