Part-time work

Is it time you offered part-time work?

Part-time working is becoming increasingly common, both as a way to keep or attract good quality staff and as a way to help organisations cope in the age of austerity.

More than eight million people in the UK now work part-time*. Mothers, students and people approaching, or already past, statutory retirement age are among those looking to combine work with family commitments. Part-time working is the most common form of flexible working with the vast majority of employers (88%)** now offering their workforce the opportunity to work this way.

No longer does it have to be the norm for employees to work 35 hours / 5 days a week 9am to 5pm. Businesses now realise that there are tangible benefits of having part-time workers on their payroll. And don't forget - there is a large pool of talented people who would be willing to work hard for you if you could offer them part-time work.

Pros of offering part-time working

  • Increased ability to attract mature, better qualified and experienced people
  • Ability to recruit a highly qualified and experienced person, and benefit from their input into your business, for far less than it would cost to hire them full-time
  • Lower costs and increased flexibility – have people working only when you need them
  • Employees put a high value on being able to work part-time and as such are likely to be loyal and committed
  • Sickness rates are usually lower than for full-time employees and part-time employees don’t take time off for doctors and dentist appointments
  • You can use part-time workers to fill evening and weekend hours not covered by full time employees
  • Small businesses can use part-timers to build flexibility into their busineses.

Cons of offering part-time working

  • You may have to deal with a perception among some managers that more senior roles or those that involve managing people are unsuitable for part-time working
  • Managing part-time workers can be more time consuming and place an added burden on HR and admin


*CIPD report 2012 – Flexible working provision and uptake

**Joseph Rowntree Foundation report March 2012


Further help


UK Government advice on part-time workers' rights: