Part-time workers are a life-line for many UK employers, from the large multi-nationals to the smaller businesses with just a handful of employees. Looking through some statistics recently on the subject, it seems the number of part-time jobs available is increasing significantly and as Totaljobs.com, the online job board stated in one of their recent reports:
“….it’s not just the companies that are leading the way and pulling the strings – many employees are now embracing the benefits that a part-time job can give them as they take control of their own destiny and work-life balance”
Whilst the UK recession is supposedly over, it is interesting how it has made some employers change their mindset on work patterns and flexibility too. Rather than making sweeping redundancies across the board, many more workers in this recession have kept their jobs compared to the last one, albeit with fewer working hours, becoming part-time rather than losing their jobs altogether. In December I discussed The Statistics Behind Redundancies over the last calendar year, and whilst the figures were not pretty, they could have been much worse. Interestingly, the latest figures (Dec 2010) from the Office of National Statistics in their GDP and Labour Market Report show how important part-time roles are now to the UK economy. Whilst the overall employment market did show resilience in the three months of Q3 2010 compared to many commentators expectations , in the period Q309 to Q310, it was part-time jobs which showed real growth at over 4% (a total of over 320,000 jobs), against full-time jobs which saw a slight decline of 0.2%.
Through my work at McGinnis Loy, I have spoken to many employers who through the recession let their employees have more input on how to keep headcount and reduce costs, making roles part-time rather than redundant. Retaining staff in this way was widely commented on at the end of 2008, with JCB, the International Excavation business in the news at the time (Guardian newspaper article). The alternative approach the Directors had was to strip out headcount at a stroke reducing costs as quickly as possible, leaving some staff safe in full-time employment, but many more with no job at all. JCB did make redundancies in 2008/2009, but by making more of its employees part-time, the company managed to save 350 of its talented employees from being made redundant.
So, part-time working has been and continues to be embraced by employers as much as employees. If it works financially, employees get more leisure time and therefore family time, and still earn some income through a recession rather than nothing. As the country emerges out of recession and business demand increases, employers can start to make any part-time roles they had back into full time, with no additional cost to recruitment. Glancing through online job advertisements just last week, national employers who are recruiting currently for part-time workers include Lloyds Banking Group, Santander, Orange, Vodafone, The Post Office and KFC amongst others.
One great place to look for part-time roles is in local / regional newspapers. Over the last two weeks, I have collated a list of newspaper titles which you can access online and which take you direct to their online job listings. You can read more about which papers are accessible in this way by reading my post here.
Online job boards are also a good avenue to use if you are looking for part-time roles. As growth in part-time employment does seem to be gathering pace according to the Government figures highlighted above, Totaljobs have commented too on how they have seen a significant rise in such roles. Currently, Totaljobs.com has 1,600 adverts for part-time jobs across the UK, Monster has over 500 jobs available and Reed.co.uk have over 550. Other websites which focus on part-time roles include Workingmums.co.uk who currently list over 700 roles and UKparttimejobs.co.uk have 400+
If you are looking for flexibility and better working patterns to fit around your lifestyle, the numbers seem to suggest that there is more growth in part-time roles than any other job type, which you can now start to take advantage of. Go for it !