Temporary and Part-Time Vacancy Trap

Economy A sign saying for hire
NewsApril 18th, 2012

Analysis by the Western Mail’s Claire Miller shows that half of the vacancies in Wales’s Jobcentres are temporary or part-time.   Less than half the permanent vacancies offer more than 24 hours a week, she found, and  even fewer temporary vacancies do so (only about 20%).  Victoria Winckler, director of the Bevan Foundation, said the insecure nature of jobs and short hours on offer contributed to people being trapped in poverty.

She said: “A job with less than 24 hours or that is temporary is quite unattractive to someone on benefits particularly if they have children, as not only are your costs higher but the benefit regime is so much more complicated.  We know from other statistics that temporary working is on the increase and part-time jobs as well.

She said she was particularly concerned about the impact on people of being both cash-poor and time-poor.  “I think it will make it extremely difficult for anyone looking for work. People are working several jobs with short or flexible hours.  It becomes extremely difficult to find a way out of poverty, it’s hard to up-skill or gain more training when working long hours or uncertain hours.  You have to start asking questions about the wellbeing of children or families if you have that combination.”

The Western Mail also reported that around one in 14 jobs advertised are on flexible contracts that could see someone working between one hour and full time hours any given week.  Dr Winckler said: “We’ve interviewed people in the past who are in these so-called flexible hours jobs and if you have one of these jobs, you don’t know from one week to the next how much money you’re getting and you don’t know if you need someone to pick up your children or if you’ll be able to go to a night class or visit someone in hospital.

“It’s not just that you work for your hours, it seems you sell your life to these jobs and if you refuse to do those hours, there might be someone else willing to.


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