Times are tough out there and the workers of the UK are doing everything they can to adapt to a tectonic shift in the employment structure. Managers are pushing harder for higher efficiency while workers have realised how part-time or flexible working is massively benefiting the work-life balance.
However, the spanner in the works, unemployment, isn’t budging and funnily enough it’s men who are taking dramatic action. A growing number of men are expected to opt to work part-time suggests a new report by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills reports The Guardian.
“The report forecasts a 20% increase in the number of part-time male workers by 2024, with a rise of only 7% for part-time female workers. For full-time workers, it forecasts an increase of 7% for women but only 3% for men over the same period.”
A 13% difference the growth in part-time work between men and women is ridiculous. We’ve found in the past that ego and breadwinner bias has put men off of flexible working up until now but what exactly is driving this huge shift to part-time work?
Lesley Giles, research director at UKCES, says: “The increase in men working flexible hours has been catalysed by the right to shared parental leave, but seems to be gaining traction.”
She continued. “Coupled with other changes, like the growth of jobs in sectors traditionally dominated by women, this could represent a real change in the way people work and the way we understand gender roles in the labour market.”
The other factor to consider is that part-time work is primarily dominated by women because of the homemaker archetype but, as this report shows, the tides are turning.
Flexible working allows companies to “attract and retain talented individuals” and the new shared parental leave policy means that there’s an equal pressure on men and women to opt for temporary part-time work to take care of family life.