Part-time work in the public health service of Denmark, France and the UK

Mohamed Branine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this paper is to consider the extent to which and the ways in which part-time work is used in the health services of Denmark, France and the UK. The reasons for and the implications of introducing part-time work in the three EU countries are also analysed and compared. Data were collected using questionnaires and interviews from hospitals in Denmark, France and the UK. Questionnaires were completed by heads of department and by part-time employees. Interviews (for the UK sample only) were held with the managers responsible for the introduction of flexible working practices. The findings show that part-time employment is the most common flexible working practice in the health services of all three countries but that the purpose of its introduction differs from one country to another. Part-time work seemed to have satisfied the desire of those who run the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK for cost reduction and for flexibility of working practices. In the French health service it was aimed at creating jobs, whereas in Denmark it was a response to increasing employee demand for flexible working. It was also found that, contrary to the Danish case with its established tradition of flexible working and equality in employment, the full-time working traditions and the male-dominated cultures of the health services in France and in the UK have often undermined the importance and benefits of part-time employment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-428
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1999


  • Part-time work
  • Flexible working practices
  • Health service
  • Denmark
  • France
  • UK


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