Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Self-employment, work-family time and the gender division of labour

an article by Lyn Craig, Abigail Powell and Natasha Cortis (University of New South Wales, Australia) published in Work Employment & Society Volume 26 Number 5 (October 2012)


Does being self-employed, as opposed to being an employee, make a difference to how parents with young children can balance work and family demands?

Does self-employment facilitate more equal gender divisions of labour?

This article uses the Australian Time Use Survey to identify associations between self-employment and mothers’ and fathers’ time in paid work, domestic labour and childcare and when during the day they perform these activities.

The time self-employed mothers devote to each activity differs substantially from that of employee mothers, while fathers’ time is relatively constant across employment types. Working from home is highly correlated with self-employment for mothers, implying the opportunity to be home-based is a pull factor in mothers becoming self-employed.

Results suggest mothers use self-employment to combine earning and childcare whereas fathers prioritize paid work regardless of employment type.

Self-employment is not associated with gender redistribution of paid and unpaid work, although it facilitates some rescheduling.

No comments: