More part-time jobs needed

Employers that advertise full-time vacancies in job centres may be encouraged to allow part-time workers and job sharers to apply for them.

Yvette Cooper, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said that there is a need for more good quality part-time jobs, both for single parents and working parents.

Arguing that many employers were already advertising vacancies as either full or part-time, the Minister said that more firms should look at different, flexible ways of filling full-time vacancies.

Ms Cooper added: “The next stage of this, for those employers still not thinking about part-time work or work that fits round school hours, is actually showing people that it’s much easier than you think. We have already got good examples at local level of where this is being done.”

There are reports that plans are being made for a new national database of part-time jobs, aimed at working mothers and women who are returning to work after a break from their careers.

A new taskforce, chaired by Emma Stewart of Women Like Us, is to examine how best to improve the number and quality of part-time jobs.

It is also believed that the government is intending to publish a white paper at the same time as the pre-Budget Report on managing the changes that the recession has made already to traditional working patterns.

Many firms have introduced reduced working weeks and part-time working as a way of avoiding redundancies.