Part-time Employment, Gender and Employee Participation in the Workplace: An Illawarra Reconnaissance
The growth in non-standard forms of employment has major implications for the effectiveness of employee participation mechanisms in the workplace, whether direct or indirect (representative). This seems to be especially the case with representative forms, such as consultative committees, because they effectively assume permanent or long-term employment and are not as easily accessible to part-time employees. However, the literature on participation rarely addresses this major contextual aspect. The issue is of further significance since the majority of part-time and casual employees are female. Consequently, to the extent that non-standard employees do not have the same access to participatory mechanisms in the workplace that their full- time permanent colleagues enjoy, then women also are disproportionately excluded from participation. This paper begins to redress the insularity in the literature by analysing survey data from the Illawarra Regional Industrial Relations Survey (IRWIRS). It tests the hypothesis that the growth of non-standard forms of employment diminishes the access to participation in the workplace enjoyed by part-time workers in comparison with their full-time colleagues.
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