Part-timers often financially vulnerable

30/06/2015 15:00

Among employed 20 to 64-year-old men, 13 percent had to live on incomes below the social security level. They were not economically independent; they were financially vulnerable. Among employed women, 27 percent were not able to fend for themselves. More women than men are in a financially vulnerable position because many women are employed on a part-time basis. Most women do not want to work longer hours. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported today that people with paid jobs who are financially vulnerable often have small jobs. More women than men work on a part-time basis.

Male full-timers relatively often in financially vulnerable position

Nearly 80 percent of financially vulnerable women are working less than 20 hours a week and a small majority are working less than 12 hours a week. This category partly includes young people attending some form of education or training, but even if they are not taken into account, people with small jobs are relatively often in a financially vulnerable position. Although fewer financially vulnerable men than women  are working part-time, a large proportion among them hold full-time jobs ((35 hours a week or more). Most of them are self-employed with low or even negative incomes.

Financial vulnerability and working hours, 2013

Financially vulnerable men often work flexible hours

Financial vulnerability is nearly twice as common among self-employed as in the entire working population and is also more common among flex workers. Flex workers often are temporary,  standby or substitute workers. On average, the earned income of flex workers is distinctly lower than that of people with permanent employment contracts. Flex workers often have incomes  at social security level. Financially vulnerable men are nearly three times as often flex workers, women nearly two times.

Financial vulnerability and job position, 2013

Men economically independent with 16 working hours a week, women with 18 hours

On average, women have to work two hours more every week to become economically independent than men. The gender difference among flex workers (25 versus 27 hours) is almost the same as for people with permanent employment contracts (11 versus 14 hours). Women have to more hours because their hourly wages - partly for obvious reasons - are lower, as is shown in the earlier CBS publication Gelijk loon voor gelijk werk? (Equal Pay for Equal Work?)

The gender gap is much wider among self-employed than among employees. Male self-employed are economically independent with 13 weekly working hours, self-employed women have to work 27 hours to obtain economic independence. The gender gap is largely due to the differences in occupational level and the wage that comes with it. Men are often employed at managerial level in small businesses or are working as wholesalers or estate agents. Women are more often active in the lower strata of the occupational hierarchy. e.g. hairdresser, beautician or host parent.

More financially vulnerable men than women prefer longer working hours

Economic independence is reached sooner with longer working hours. Over a quarter of financially vulnerable men and women with small jobs (less than 12 hours a week) state they would like to work longer hours. If those who attend regular education are not taken into account, half of men and one third of women would like to work longer hours.

One-quarter of women say care-providing duties are the reason they do not want to work more hours, as against more than 35 percent a decade ago. For women, economic independence appears to be less important than for men, especially if they are living with a partner. Illness, disability or (pre-)pension are important reasons for men not to increase their working hours.

More than one fifth of financially vulnerable men and women with jobs of 12 hours a week or more would like to work longer hours, but the majority - more women than men -have no intention to change their working hours, as a report recently published by CBS shows .Part-timers - women in particular - appreciate a more harmonious balance between working hours and private life and the opportunity to work from home.