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The Friday Rant Club – the double whammy penalty of part time work

Yes I know part time work has made my life a million times better – I see more of the girls, I get less resentful when I have a week like this one and don’t see them for days in a row and life has a one day reset button.  It is a good thing.



It even turned out that 20% less money wasn’t as big a reduction in my salary as I had thought.  Which is probably rather embarrassing if I admit I’m a qualified accountant and work in a fairly numerate business. 

But I do still earn 20% less than my colleagues in exchange for my day off.

I’m not even going to mention that it’s really only a 14% reduction in time because I now have 1 day in 7 off rather than 1 in 5 but I don’t want to split hairs.  Much



The trouble is that having taken the 20% reduction in salary you then realise that your work costs don’t reduce by 20%.  Take my train travel – it turns out that it is cheaper to buy a ticket for a week than to buy returns for 4 days.  Exactly the same thing happens for car parking.  So whilst my cash in has gone down by 20% what I’m paying out hasn’t.



How is this fair?

Effectively I’m being penalised for daring to want to work part time.  Financially it’s a double whammy – here have less money and no reduction in your costs. 



Wrong wrong wrong



And don’t get me started on the fact that I have signed up for the part time Mummy track and all that entails when actually I do work on Fridays when I have to and clients demand it AND given part time is usually classified as under 30 hours by most metrics I’m still working at least full time.  On an average week I’m working about 50 hours – yes it is heaps better than working about 60 hours and all of that but it is hardly that I have given it all up and decided to work to rule.  This week I had done 30 hours by midway through Wednesday.



Right, rant over – feel free to add your own!

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7 comments to The Friday Rant Club – the double whammy penalty of part time work

  • me

    Couldn’t agree more. I’m also a 4-day worker and it still adds up to 45 hours a week. I have started to work from home more though, is that an option for you? Avoiding Canary Wharf a few days a week is a blessing (& a cost saving too).

  • With you here sister! I only work 2.5 days a week / 17.5 hours. I’m lucky enough to work for an understanding boss who is fine that I ‘clock watch’ every day that I’m in the office so I can make it in/out and still collect the sprog from childcare on time. However, within a month of taking the position, I was offered a 10% payrise ‘Well, at last’ I thought, ‘I finally have an employer who recognises talent when he sees it’ but no – it was a downpayment on the question that followed – would I be able to help him out on the odd Friday/Monday as well – he wanted my proofreading eyes to be at his disposal for shareholder communications on the odd day that I wasn’t there. Of course, i knew it wouldn’t stop there. once you agree to be available, it doesn’t matter if it’s in your contract or not. I managed to negotiate a blackberry and a laptop to facilite my support, thank goodness, but invariably I’m asked for input/support every day of the week, so I can’t leave home without my Blackberry. I know I get paid well / better than average full time secretaries but it still feels like someone is taking the michael from time to time.

    • Exactly – it is a continual chipping away at the away time. To be honest I have gone from 7 to 6 days a week not 5 to 4 and even on that 4 I am checking in

      At least if I work a half day then I claw it back which has benefits

      Interestingly now Mr is about more he is seeing the advantages of at least some reduction in hours

  • the thing that grates on me is that employers seem to still expect a 40 hour working week of output even for a 20 hours week of input.
    I work 4 contracts all part time – added up they can vary between 20 and 60 hours a week, and I do this willingly (although exhaustedly!) as it just somehow fits better with my kids and my life than a regular 9-5 job.
    But the weeks I get paid for 20 and do 60 far too often outweight the opposite.

  • Couldn’t agree more, no-one should be financially penalised on transport costs etc for working part time, it is a scandal and just the sort of practical issue that needs to be challenged. Rant away, you make valid and important points!

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