Most Dutch women with a part-time job are happy working fewer hours a week and don’t plan to work more, despite government efforts to boost female employment levels, according to a new report from the government’s social policy unit SCP.
‘Most women, most men and most employers do not regard women’s shorter working hours as a problem,’ the SCP said. ‘While efforts could be made for a small expansion [in women’s working hours], one should not expect much change in this in the short term.’
The SCP report shows just one in 10 women with a part-time job wants to work longer, and two out of 10 might be prepared to do so. But the extra number of hours they want to work is minimal – just two a week, taking their average to 20 hours.
While seven out of 10 Dutch women have a job of at least one hour a week, half of them work fewer than 25 hours a week. Of the part-timers, 25% do not have children and 10% are single.
But employers do not make it easy for women to increase their hours either, the SCP survey shows. Most women with part-time jobs work in healthcare, education, retail, the cleaning sector or civil service.
One third of employers said part-time jobs are a useful part of their organisation and only 7% said they are a nuisance.
The SCP carried out the research on the government’s request. It wants women to work longer hours to boost tax receipts and stimulate women’s financial independence.
But men too are happy with the current set-up, the SCP report shows. Men with a full-time job prefer it if their wife works part-time – known as the 1.5 income model, the SCP said.
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