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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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7. Conclusions and need for changes - 187


187 7. Conclusions and need for changes As we observed in the previous chapters, non-standard employment arrangements such as part-time employment have grown substantially in the last decades in Switzerland and nowadays concern a large part of its active population. One person out of three works part-time in the Swiss labour market. Female part-time workers represent 57 % of the active population which is far greater than the same proportion of male part-timers (13 %). The progression of part-time activities among men and women has also been five times higher in the last years than the work progression for full-timers. The reasons for working part-time have also changed: today one of the most common reasons to work part-time is related to the conciliation between professional and family obligations. In the first two chapters of our thesis, we presented some determi- nants, characteristics and the impact of working on flexible time ar- rangements. Chapter 3 looked into the impact of part-time workers and their probability of acceding to different hierarchical positions of em- ployment. Chapter 4 focused on existing earnings disparities between full and part-timers by differentiating their explained and unexplained parts. Chapter 5 investigated the existence of dual market segmentation for part-timers and full-timers. Finally, in our last chapter, we attempted to analyze how new partnership models and flexible time arrangements such as job-sharing, top-sharing, functional flexibility and project team rotations for part-timers could improve social welfare for individuals and for society in general. We presented as well some recommenda-...

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