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Flexible working and unpaid overtime in the UK: The role of gender, parental and occupational status

Chung, Heejung, van der Horst, Mariska (2020) Flexible working and unpaid overtime in the UK: The role of gender, parental and occupational status. Social Indicators Research, 151 (2). pp. 495-520. ISSN 0303-8300. (doi:10.1007/s11205-018-2028-7) (KAR id:69982)


Recent studies have shown that flexible boundaries between work and family may make employees

work harder and longer. Yet most studies were not able to show whether there are differences across

different types of flexible working arrangements, and whether this relationship may only hold for

certain groups of workers. We examine how three different types of flexible working arrangements,

that is schedule control, flexitime, and teleworking, are associated with an increase in unpaid overtime

hours of workers in the UK using the Understanding Society data from 2010-2015 and fixed effects

panel regression models. Results show that the flexible arrangements that were introduced primarily for

work-life balance purposes, i.e., flexitime and teleworking, do not necessarily increase unpaid overtime

hours significantly. On the other hand, workers’ control over their schedule, mainly introduced as a part

of high-performance strategies, leads to increased unpaid overtime hours. This is especially true for

professional men, and women without children, especially those working full-time, and surprisingly

part-time working mothers. The results of this study point to the importance of distinguishing between

different groups of workers as well as between different types of arrangements when examining

outcomes of flexible working. Furthermore, the results of the study contribute to the argument that

performance enhancing flexible working arrangements can potentially exacerbate gender inequalities

in the labour market by enabling men to commit more time to their jobs, while for women, especially

full-time working mothers, this may be less possible.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s11205-018-2028-7
Uncontrolled keywords: Flexible working, schedule control, flexitime, teleworking, working hours, overtime, gender, UK, fixed effects panel regression
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Heejung Chung
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2018 13:35 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 11:02 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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