Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2014;40(4):370-379    pdf full text

doi:10.5271/sjweh.3429

Full- and part-time work: gender and welfare-type differences in European working conditions, job satisfaction, health status, and psychosocial issues

by Bartoll X, Cortès I, Artazcoz L

Objectives The aim of this study was to analyze the differences between full- and part-time employment (FTE and PTE) in terms of working conditions, on the one hand, and job satisfaction, health status, and work-related psychosocial problems according to gender and welfare state regime, on the other hand, and to analyze the role of working conditions in the association between PTE and FTE.

Methods This cross-sectional study was based on a sample of 7921 men and 8220 women from the European Working Conditions Survey aged 16–64 years, who were employed part-time (5–19 or 20–30 hours per week) or full-time (31–40 hours/week). Multiple logistic regression models were fitted separately for each gender and welfare state regime.

Results PTE is associated with poorer working conditions than FTE for all national welfare types. Among women, only those in southern European countries experienced low job satisfaction [odds ratio after adjustment (ORadj) for sociodemographic variables, ORadj 1.73, and 1.66, for those working 20–30 and 5–19 hours/week, respectively; reference group: FTE workers], but this association disappeared after further adjustment for working conditions. Low job satisfaction and poorer health status was more common among PTE men from continental (low job satisfaction, ORadj 1.80 and 3.61, for 20–30 and 5–19 working hours/week, respectively), and southern European (ORadj, 2.98, for 5–19 working hours/week) countries. PTE tended to be associated with fewer psychosocial problems among women, but with more psychosocial problems among men in continental Europe and those those engaged in “mini-jobs” in southern European welfare regimes.

Conclusions The association between FTE and PTE and job satisfaction, health status, and psychosocial problems is partly driven by working conditions and differs between gender and welfare regime. This highlights the importance of promoting effective measures to ensure equal treatment between FTE and PTE workers and the role of the social norms that form part of these different welfare states regimes.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2003;29(6):444-451  2013;39(4):369-378