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Flexitime works better for men than women, study finds

University of Kent

Flexitime and having autonomy over working hours - known as schedule control - impacts differently on men and women and may increase the gender pay gap.

That's the conclusion of new research co-led by the University of Kent that shows that although schedule control is associated with increases in overtime and income, it is men that benefit more.

The research, from the University's School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research and the Hans-Bockler Foundation, Dusseldorf, Germany, showed that the increase in overtime was much higher for men, meaning that schedule control has the potential to 'traditionalise' gender roles. This was because of the large number of women taking part in the study sample who were working part-time.

Researchers found a considerable 'gender gap' in the income gained through schedule control. Both men and women gain additional income when using schedule control mediated via overtime hours. However, women, even full-time working women, do not reap the direct benefit men do in terms of income gains. In fact, the research suggests schedule control may potentially increase the gender pay gap.

The researchers found that this gender discrepancy exists even when they took into account the gender segregation of the labour market, i.e., sectors and occupations, as well as other characteristics such as an individual's ambition or work devotion.

The research, entitled Gender Discrepancies in the Outcomes of Schedule Control on Overtime Hours and Income in Germany, was co-authored by Dr Heejung Chung of the University of Kent and Dr Yvonne Lott of the Hans-Bockler Foundation. It is published in the European Sociological Review. See:


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Notes to editors

Established in 1965, the University of Kent - the UK's European university - now has almost 20,000 students across campuses or study centres at Canterbury, Medway, Tonbridge, Brussels, Paris, Athens and Rome.

It has been ranked: third for overall student satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey; 16th in the Guardian University Guide 2016; 23rd in the Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2016; and 22nd in the Complete University Guide 2015.

In the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2015-16, Kent is in the top 10% of the world's leading universities for international outlook and 66th in its table of the most international universities in the world. The THE also ranked the University as 20th in its 'Table of Tables' 2016.

Kent is ranked 17th in the UK for research intensity (REF 2014). It has world-leading research in all subjects and 97% of its research is deemed by the REF to be of international quality.

Along with the universities of East Anglia and Essex, Kent is a member of the Eastern Arc Research Consortium (

The University is worth £0.7 billion to the economy of the south east and supports more than 7,800 jobs in the region. Student off-campus spend contributes £293.3m and 2,532 full-time-equivalent jobs to those totals.

In 2014, Kent received its second Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

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