Part-Time Workers Disproportionately Impacted by Pandemic

Social enterprise Timewise has analysed what has happened to part-time workers during the pandemic – and found HALF have been ‘away from work’ (furloughed) or had their hours reduced compared to just one third of fulltime workers.

  • While HALF the part-time workforce were away from work (furloughed) or had their working hours reduced during the first national lockdown, the comparable proportion for fulltime workers was only one-third;
  • Across 2020, full-time employees began to return to their normal hours – from having had their hours reduced – in greater proportions to part-time employees. 44% of part-time employees who were ‘away from work’ (as classified by the ONS) during the first lockdown continued to be away from work between July-September 2020.  The comparable figure for full-time employees was about a third (33.6%).
  • The impact of furlough has left many part-timers feeling they are “clinging on to disappearing jobs”;
  • Rates of part-time employment have fallen to the lowest level seen since 2010 (24% of all those in work);
  • The share of women in part-time work has fallen to its lowest since records began, at 37% (down from 41% a year ago).

Nearly 1 in 4employees in the UK are part-time.  Many of these part-timers work in frontline and low paid jobs.  Timewise warns that those who need part-time work have no viable market in which to find a new job – just 8 per cent of UK vacancies mention part-time possibilities.

Though the jobs market is in recovery mode, it masks a crisis for those who need part-time work.

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