News | Published:

Part-time Employment

Nature volume 150, pages 1718 (04 July 1942) | Download Citation



A PAPER on “Part-time Employment” read before the Royal Society of Arts on June 10 by F. C. Hooper, joint managing director of Messrs. Lewis's, Ltd., describes the inception and working of the part-time scheme of that firm. The details of the scheme were worked out in July and after submission to the Ministry of Labour the scheme was launched by advertisement on August 18. The appeal was addressed to married women of thirty-five and more to avoid the problem of married women with very young children, and particularly with a view to the rapid release of younger women. Mr. Hooper lays considerable stress on the patriotic appeal, sufficiently so to raise the question as to whether it is right to allow non-industrial industry to utilize part-time labour in this way unless it can be demonstrated that all munition and other essential industrial demands for labour have been fully met. Apart from this the paper lays down a number of principles which are clearly of value in launching any such scheme and which go far to determine success. The regular character of the job and that it is for a fixed time during the day or fixed days during the week, as well as the importance of regularity in time and attendance are impressed on all applicants, and few applicants failed to fit themselves into one or other of the schemes scheduled by Messrs. Lewis's Ltd. Firm handling of this problem, Mr. Hooper said, has reduced bad time-keeping and absenteeism to a minimum. Much stress is also put on proper welfare arrangements and adequate training, and on the importance of utilizing all the usual means for getting the new employees over the early and most difficult stages of their employment. Accordingly, although a fairly large proportion of the first applicants were lost, fewer really unsuitable applicants are coming forward. Moreover, the firm has been surprised at the comparative ease with which part-time workers have fitted into their administration and at the quality of the part-time workers themselves, the average age of whom was about forty-five

About this article

Publication history





    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing