Most part-timers don’t want to work longer hours, but they do want time for themselves and their kids

Employers can use it, but workers hardly want to work more hours than they do now. They want time for themselves and the kids. Cabinet plans, such as full-time bonus and (nearly) free childcare, have limited impact on this.

This emerged from research conducted by EenVandaag among around 12,000 workers from the opinion panel.

“40 hour work week is obsolete”

By far the largest group, both full-time and part-time workers, don’t want to work longer hours. when it comes to b part time He wants to work only 16 percent more. The largest group wants to continue to work the same amount (59 percent) or work fewer hours (24 percent). There is also a significant group (31 percent) among full-time workers who consider fewer hours.

What prevents part-time workers from working full-time? Maintaining the same amount of free time is the most important reason: 45 percent cite this as the top motivator. “I think the idea of ​​a 40-hour week is outdated. I work better (and more) in 24 hours than in 36, so that’s what I do,” explains a part-time worker.

The working pressure is very high

4 out of 10 (40 percent) also indicate that they can make ends meet with their current number of hours. Moreover, a group of part-time workers found their workload to be too high (29 percent). “It’s a very intense process. If I had to do less things outside of my teaching duties, I would be happy to teach more,” says one panelist who also works in education.

For parents with young children, between the ages of 0 and 12, spending time with the kids is by far the most important reason not to go to work.

Why don’t part-time workers want to work full time?

You want, but you can’t

There are also part-time workers who would like to, but have not yet. According to them, it is not possible to work more because their current job does not allow it. 30 percent of part-time workers who would like to work longer hours cited this as the reason for the survey.

The second reason is that the employer simply does not require it. Someone says: “I have arranged my life with so many hours, but I would like to work a little more. I will not say it myself, but if the boss asks, I would like to think about it.”

The full time bonus has little impact

The third reason is fear of the tax burden if they start working longer hours. Seventeen percent said they are not convinced that working longer hours also means they have more money left under the line.

The government is looking for ways to persuade part-time workers to work more hours, such as a full-time bonus. Only 18 percent are sensitive to it. According to others, this reward does not guarantee that it will actually improve. One participant thought, “The employers aren’t stupid either. They will of course settle that bonus at a lower hourly rate.”

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Do you want to work more in “free” childcare?

Another avenue is to make childcare (almost) free. The Cabinet wants to increase childcare compensation in steps to 96 percent in 2025. 3 in 10 parents with young children, ages 0 to 12, are willing to consider a longer workweek if that happens.

However, just as with the full-time bonus, there are doubts whether this plan will really benefit them in terms of net worth. Experts say there are justified concerns, because not everyone will benefit from the current Cabinet plan, the Social Cultural Planning Office (SCP) previously told EenVandaag.

what does he do?

Clarity that people benefit from the net if they start to work more; The largest group (40 percent) indicates that this would motivate them to work more. But non-money matters are also important, such as being able to organize one’s own work time (32 percent) or being able to work from home more often (28 percent).

said a young mother in the study.

Why might part-time workers consider increasing working hours?

The key lies with the employers

For young parents, these factors have more influence on their willingness to work hours than free child care. A partner who does more housework and an employer’s understanding of the child’s condition is also important to them.

In short, part-time workers are not motivated to work more hours. They don’t like to give up time for themselves or their kids. The government seems unable to do much about it with the measures put in place. The key seems to be in the hands of the employer: engaging in conversation with the employee at all can really make a difference. Especially if a higher net hourly wage and more control over when and where you work are negotiable.


about this research

The survey was conducted from January 4 to 14, 2023. A total of 11,683 EenVandaag Opinion Panel workers participated in the survey, of which 4,714 were part-time workers. After weighting, the research represents 6 variables: age, gender, education, marital status, distribution across the country, and political preference according to the 2021 parliamentary elections. The opinion body consists of 80,000 members.

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