A third of South Australian workers are employed part-time. They use this as a way of maintaining balance between work, their personal life and professional development. Unfortunately, part-time work can often be experienced as insecure, with limited training and career development opportunities.
A core goal of work life balance is therefore ensuring that workers have access to quality part-time work. This means workers have access to flexible, safe and voluntary work practices that provide the same rights, entitlements and security to those workers who, with their employer's agreement, choose to work part-time.
One of the key areas where quality part-time work is important is in the nursing and midwifery sector.
Over the next 10 years, the expected retirement of senior 'baby boomer' generation nurses and midwives is likely to create difficulties for practical on-the-job transfer of skills and experience in hospitals and other health sector workplaces. Nurses and midwives also face particular challenges in accessing quality part-time work because of the role shift work and rostering arrangements play in their working lives.
As a result, the nursing and midwifery workforce has been selected as a focus area for SafeWork SA's Quality Part-Time Work Project.
Two research reports have been commissioned by SafeWork SA from the Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre of the University of Adelaide, as part of the Quality Part-Time Work Project: