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Part-Time Workers

Volume 404: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the impact of the Part-time Workers Directive on staff in his Department. [109264]

The Part-time Workers Directive has not had a significant impact on staff in DWP. Existing policies already provided a range of working patterns for all our staff, both male and female. Full-time staff can work in non-traditional ways (e.g. compressed hours, informal home-working), and part-time staff can work part year, for example during school terms but not during school holidays.We also recognise that some part-time staff do not have children; they have simply made other life choices. Staff may take the opportunity to match their working arrangements with their personal lives and responsibilities as carers, to study, undertake voluntary work, or pursue other interests. More than 25 per cent. (see Table A) of DWP staff work part-time (source: DWP baseline map for year ending 30 September 2002) against a little over 15 per cent. in the Civil Service as a whole (Civil Service statistics October 2002).A recent survey of DWP staff indicated that 67 per cent. (see Table B) of staff were in agreement that "the organisation allowed people to adopt a work pattern to accommodate a work life balance" 22 per cent. did not have an opinion either way and only 11 per cent. felt that their work pattern conflicted with their home life (source: staff survey 2002).DWP ensures that part-time staff are not treated less favourably in their contractual terms and conditions than comparable full time staff; the 'pro rata principle' applies wherever appropriate.

Table A: Staff in post by work pattern and gender (DWP HR baseline map 30 September 2002)
Full timePart-time
Table B: The percentage of staff in DWP who feel that: "The organisation allows me to adopt a working pattern which helps me balance my work and home life" (Staff survey result 2002)
Strongly agree14
Neither agree nor disagree22
Strongly disagree2