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Part-Time Employment in Switzerland

Relevance, Impact and Challenges


Irenka Krone-Germann

In recent labour market history, one of the most striking features has been the increase in part-time employment. In Switzerland, one person out of three works part-time. 57% of women work part-time compared to only 13% of men. This disparity between women and men is one of the highest worldwide. At the same time, differences in the level of education between genders are disappearing. Given the magnitude of this phenomenon, new questions and challenges need to be addressed.
By presenting several econometrical models and taking into account historical and social gender focused behaviors, the author analyzes the impact of part-time employment on earning disparities, labour market segmentation and the probability of being promoted to a higher level of responsibility. While introducing ways to improve the situation for part-timers, the author examines innovative models of work organization such as job-sharing, top-sharing, functional flexibility and project team rotations. Beyond demonstrating the need for changes within public and private companies, the book also reveals concrete instruments on policy which could facilitate the implementation of such innovative models.


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2. Determinants and characteristics of non-standardworking time arrangements - 5


52. Determinants and characteristics of non-standard working time arrangements 2.1 Introduction The last decades have seen a tremendous trend towards non-standard forms of work, resulting in more part-time and temporary employment in advanced economies and more informal employment in developing countries. The focus in this chapter is to first present a typology of non-standard employment arrangements, to then describe the current statistical situ- ation in the Swiss labour market compared to other European countries with a specific focus on gender aspects and, finally, to explain the main determinants of the existence of such new arrangements including several major supply and demand driven elements in the labour market. Most data used in this study are taken from the Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS)2, the Swiss Earnings Structure Survey (SESS), the Sta- tistics of the Employed Population (OSPCA)3 and the Statistics of Employment (JOBSTAT)4 which represent some of the main primary sources of statistical data in Switzerland. 2 The Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS) is a nation-wide and representative phone survey conducted each year by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office since 1991. With telephone interviews lasting approximately 20 minutes, individuals are ques- tioned on a number of topics related to the labour market. This survey is based on a sampling of roughly 48’000 households (previously 16’000, the sample was increased in 2001) selected at random from the telephone book. Since 2003, an additional sampling of 15’000 foreign households is selected from the Central Aliens Register. Those who take part...

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