Flexible working and unpaid overtime in the UK: the role of gender, parental and occupational status

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Social Indicators Research

Authors

Heejung Chung and Mariska van der Horst

Publication date

Summary

Recent studies have shown that flexible boundaries between work and family may make employees work harder and longer. Yet most studies were not able to show whether there are differences across different types of flexible working arrangements, and whether this relationship may only hold for certain groups of workers. We examine how three different types of flexible working arrangements, that is schedule control, flexitime, and teleworking, are associated with an increase in unpaid overtime hours of workers in the UK using the Understanding Society data from 2010 to 2015 and fixed effects panel regression models. Results show that the flexible arrangements that were introduced primarily for work-life balance purposes, i.e., flexitime and teleworking, do not necessarily increase unpaid overtime hours significantly. On the other hand, workers’ control over their schedule, mainly introduced as a part of high-performance strategies, leads to increased unpaid overtime hours. This is especially true for professional men, and women without children, especially those working full-time, and surprisingly part-time working mothers. The results of this study point to the importance of distinguishing between different groups of workers as well as between different types of arrangements when examining outcomes of flexible working. Furthermore, the results of the study contribute to the argument that performance enhancing flexible working arrangements can potentially exacerbate gender inequalities in the labour market by enabling men to commit more time to their jobs, while for women, especially full-time working mothers, this may be less possible.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-018-2028-7

ISSN

16

Subjects

Time Use, Sociology Of Labour, Labour Economics, Households, Living Standards and Well Being

Notes

Online Early; Open Access; This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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