Human Resource Management

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Leaving Jobseeker's Allowance
for part-time work

2 March 2001 - An in-house report for the Department of Social Security identifies characteristics of clients leaving Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) for part-time work (defined as work of under 16 hours per week) between 1996 and 1998, comparing them with characteristics of people leaving JSA for full-time work (over 16 hours per week).

The authors are Karl Ashworth and Rachel Youngs from the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University. Based on secondary analysis of the second cohort of the JSA claimant survey their study has the following main findings:

* A majority of part-time workers were qualified - many with professional, managerial or technical backgrounds. There was no predominant type or sector of work undertaken but professional jobs were over-represented.

* People taking uo work of under 16 hours were 'well attached to the labour market', reporting high levels of satisfaction with the return-to-work jobs and stating that these jobs made use of their skills.

* Clients moving into part-time work tended to be older and were more likely to have a partner than people entering full-time work. Partners were likely to be in full-time work of 30 or more hours a week.

* Having considered a range of variables the authors conclude that part-time workers did not seem any more disadvantaged than full-time workers. However - as in the case of people working 16 hours or over - a fifth of part-time workers were unqualified, one-fifth reported health problems and one quarter were unskilled.

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