Part-Time Fathers and Mothers? Comparing Part-time Employment in Germany, Sweden, Ireland and the Netherland

Sonja Bekker, Lena Hipp, Janine Leschke, Friederike Molitor

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearch


    In the current discussions on combining work and family, the idea of shorter working hours is becoming ever more popular. However, much of the research on part-time employment has looked at women and mothers in particular. Much less is known about part-time work among men or fathers. Therefore, this paper aims to establish the differences and similarities between men and women and particularly between mothers and fathers in their choices to work parttime, taking into account different household contexts and welfare state institutions. By analysing part-time work in Germany, Sweden, Ireland and the Netherlands in 2014 using individual level data from the European Labour Force Survey, we show that for men a lower earning capacity compared to their partner or family responsibilities do not seem to lead to higher part-time shares. This is the opposite of what we find for women. According to our
    analysis, Sweden conforms least to the traditional model of specialisation within couples – part-time shares are comparatively low and differences in part-time employment between men and women are smallest across all household constellations. Germany and the Netherlands are the countries that most correspond to the traditional model of gendered distribution of wage and household work. In our analysis, Ireland also conforms to this pattern but to a somewhat lesser degree – there seems to be an important economic factor in Irish part-time work. The differences we find may be attributed to the welfare state regimes, institutions such as childcare, income taxation, right to work part-time and the gender values prevalent in the different countries.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationWork-life Balance in the Modern Workplace : Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Work-family Research, Law and Policy
    EditorsSarah De Groof
    Number of pages24
    Place of PublicationAlphen aan den Rijn
    PublisherWolters Kluwer
    Publication date2017
    ISBN (Print)9789041186300
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    SeriesBulletin of Comparative Labour Relations

    Cite this