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Dualisation of Part-Time WorkThe Development of Labour Market Insiders and Outsiders$
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Heidi Nicolaisen, Hanne Kavli, and Ragnhild Steen Jensen

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447348603

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447348603.001.0001

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Workplace responses to national regulations to reduce involuntary part-time work

Workplace responses to national regulations to reduce involuntary part-time work

(p.85) 4 Workplace responses to national regulations to reduce involuntary part-time work
Dualisation of Part-Time Work

Hanne Cecilie Kavli

Heidi Nicolaisen

Sissel C. Trygstad

Policy Press

The growth in marginalized part-time work is a phenomenon often seen as part of an ongoing dualisation process in the labour market. Involuntary part-time is closely associated with marginalization. In Norway, the policy makers have tried to combat involuntary part-time work by introducing changes in the Working Environment Act (WEA). The intention was to make it easier for involuntary part-time workers to increase their working time. In this chapter, we focus on the Norwegian health care sector, a sector characterised by both part-time work and labour shortage. Drawing on in-depth interviews with employers and workers, we study if the WEA amendments have been effective in terms of providing increased working time for involuntary part-timers. Surprisingly, we find that the changes in the law seem to have produced unintended consequences at the workplace level. Our analysis suggest that some employers interpret the labour law changes as attempts to limit the managerial prerogative and adapt strategically to avoid its implications. This adaptation reduces the chance to escape involuntary part-time for low educated workers with limited power resources, while workers with higher education and a stronger bargaining position to a larger degree can benefit from the new regulations.

Keywords:   Health care sector, bad part-time, workplace level, institutional change, immigrants

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