Half of workers would not trust part-time colleague with ‘business critical’ responsibilities, analysis finds

Yet figures revealed by Timewise also show 750,000 senior positions in the UK are occupied by part-time employees

Credit: Gary Burchell/Getty Images

Nearly half of Brits have admitted they would not trust a part-time colleague with an important task, a survey has found.

The poll of 2,000 people, conducted by Timewise, found 48 per cent would not trust a part-time colleague with an important or “business-critical task”. 

Similarly, 49 per cent of those polled said they did not think it was possible to have a senior-level career on a part-time basis.

Experts warn against cutting remote workers’ pay

More hybrid employers report increased productivity, CIPD report finds

Why Virgin Money gave its staff the freedom to work anywhere

This was far lower than the 72 per cent of respondents who believed this in 2012, when Timewise polled the same question, however the organisation said this still showed people’s perception of part-time work was “out of kilter” with reality.

A separate analysis of the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings by Timewise estimated there were 750,000 part-time workers – those working less than 30 hours a week – in senior and business-critical roles in the UK.

“The public’s perception of what roles can be worked successfully less than five full days a week is out of kilter with what’s happening all around the country,” said Melissa Jamieson, chief executive of Timewise, who noted that across the UK one in four people worked part time.

Get more HR and employment law news like this delivered straight to your inbox every day – sign up to People Management’s PM Daily newsletter

The negative perceptions associated with the words ‘part-time’ are strong – think of the phrases ‘she’s just part-time’ or ‘he’s only part-time’,” said Jamieson. But, she added, there were employers “bold enough to offer flexibility up front, [seeking] to attract the very best talent”.

The release of the survey date comes alongside the publication of TimeWise’s tenth and final ‘Power List’ of senior professionals who work on a part-time basis.

Included on this list are Ruth Astle, senior manager and inclusion and diversity specialist at Lloyds Banking Group, who works two days a week alongside pursuing a career as a professional triathlete, and Michelle Matherson, creative diversity partner at the BBC, who works three days per week.

The list also includes HR professional Tessa Hollingworth, managing director of the North West region at Hays Recruitment, who manages 220 staff in 11 offices and works four days a week.

Also on the list are two women identified only as Vicky and Emily who jobshare the role of deputy director of counter terrorism at GCHQ, working 28 hours a week each alongside parenting responsibilities.