Terms and Conditions of Self-Employment: A Gender Perspective
In this paper we present a detailed description of the survey “How does your life puzzle work?” that was performed in 2009. The survey’s primary purpose was to provide information about the terms and conditions in self-employment relative to wage-employment and about the reasons for taking up self-employment. In addition, the survey included questions related to social background and socio-economic characteristics of self-employed. We report some of the findings from the survey regarding working conditions and working time as well as some additional information concerning in particular individual and household characteristics at the time of first entry into self-employment. The results show that, with regard to working time, being self-employed is quite different from being wage-employed. We observe a significantly higher incidence of self-employed individuals working long hours, a larger dispersion of working time among them as well as a higher tendency to work atypical hours. Taking into account the working conditions, it appears that working atypical hours affects negatively the balance between work and family life for women and men of both employment positions. However, working long hours implies specific problems for female self-employed, in particular regarding the combination of competing demands of work and family life. Considering individual and household characteristics at the time of first self-employment entry, the results obtained largely confirm what has been found by previous research.
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