Part-time work: Policy, practice and resistance in a manufacturing organisation

Charlesworth, S and Cartwright, S 2007, 'Part-time work: Policy, practice and resistance in a manufacturing organisation' in M. Fastenau et. al. (ed.) Women and Work: Current RMIT Research, RMIT Publishing, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 5-20.


Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Book Chapters

Title Part-time work: Policy, practice and resistance in a manufacturing organisation
Author(s) Charlesworth, S
Cartwright, S
Year 2007
Title of book Women and Work: Current RMIT Research
Publisher RMIT Publishing
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Editor(s) M. Fastenau et. al.
Start page 5
End page 20
Subjects Public Policy
Gender Specific Studies
Industry Economics and Industrial Organisation
Summary In Australia, part-time work is seen as the key strategy for enabling employees, primarily women, to better balance work and care responsibilities. However, while almost half of all employed women work on a part-time basis, the take up of part-time work varies considerably across industries and organisations. In retail and hospitality, for example, a significant proportion of jobs are organised on a part-time (and casual) basis. In contrast, in industries like manufacturing, part-time work remains relatively rare even for female employees, with those seeking to reduce their hours of work often having to negotiate on an individual basis with their line supervisor. This article examines the issue of part-time work in a male-dominated manufacturing organisation, ManuCo, where relatively few female employees work on a part-time basis. While blue collar employees have an award 'right' to part-time work after return from parental leave, uptake is highest among white collar workers who are dependent on managerial discretion to access part-time work. This article explores the reasons for this apparent paradox and reports on the development of a formal company-wide 'right-to request' part-time work policy. We explore the resistance, both overt and covert, to this initiative and the deeply embedded and gendered organisation of work and working-time that underpins it.
Copyright notice © 2007 RMIT University Centre for Applied Social Research
Keyword(s) manufacturing
paid employment
part-time work
women
ISBN 9780864593375
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