Advertising all new jobs on a flexible

An increasing number of people in our society now work on a part-time or flexible basis. However, the  majority of these positions are either at the low-paid, low-skilled end of the market or were created by full-time employees requesting flexible working of some description. Either way, most part-time vacancies are occupied by women. 

Well-paid jobs which require experience, knowledge or qualifications are almost always only advertised on a full-time basis. Because of this, it is very difficult for skilled, well-qualified women to find part-time work with a salary commensurate with their experience. This effectively debars a range of  women, who for whatever reasons seek part-time work, from entering the employment market. This also means that the economy is deprived of a value able resource.

In order to rectify this problem, I would contend that the government should incentivise employers to advertise ALL job opportunities of a flexible basis. That is to say, normal recruitment procedures should be followed to establish who the best candidate for a given vacancy is and that candidate should then be invited to take up the position on whatever FTE (full time equivalent) basis best suits them. If greater resource is needed by the employer, the second-best candidate could be offered the remaining hours/days. In recognition of the additional cost associated with this process, the government could provide the employer with compensatory incentives. 

It would be recognised that this model may not be suitable for ALL vacancies, however it is anticipated that the vast majority of vacancies could (and should) be subject to this process, on the grounds of improving equity and on the grounds of enabling a large wasted resource to be utilised i.e. allowing an army of talented women to re-enter the workplace. The assumption should be that employers would follow this suggested model or else justify their need to by-pass this.

It should be noted that mechanisms already exist for finding part-time work at the low-skilled, low-paid end of the market, and that this model would specifically benefit the more skilled end of the market. Since more women than men seek part-time employment, this measure would significantly reduce the gender pay inequality which currently exists, thus helping to create a fairer society.

Why the contribution is important

In our society, we have a gender pay-gap, which worsens with age. I would contend that this is partially due to the family and other responsibilities which women generally bear, impacting upon their working lives. Anyone wanting to enter a new job on a part-time basis, is more than likely going to be limited to a low-paid job. More often than not, this applies to women of a certain age and is discriminatory. 

The above measure would address two problems - that of well-paid part-time jobs being unavailable to  new employees (the very roles which are more sought after by women) and the large untapped (wasted) resource Scotland needs i.e. that of well-qualified/highly -skilled or experienced women. The current situation is unfair and these measures would go some way to reducing this inequality.

by MLSmith on December 24, 2015 at 04:58PM

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