There is no consensus among scholars about whether part-time work is an alerting signal of an on-going fragmentation of the labour market and of the rise in atypical working arrangements or whether it should be defined as a normal working condition as it is already fully embedded in social and labour legislation. According to the common definition of a normal, standard working condition, part-time work should be treated as atypical work. But does that also automatically make it precarious?
The paper published in the “European Journal of Futures Research” starts with an overview of developments in flexibilisation and a status-quo analysis of the part-time working arrangements in Austria as a sign of labour market flexibilisation. It continues with a contention of whether part-time work as an atypical working arrangement is automatically linked to precarious working and living conditions. Using Austria as a starting point, this article closes by approaching a crucial question for all European labour markets: What form do future part-time work arrangements need to take in order to be considered “normal” from an employee’s point of view?
This article concludes with the assertion that discussions on the future of part-time work should not be driven by questions of definition. Rather, it would be more productive for further research to focus on offering scope for freedom of choice and social security for part-time employees.