Temporary Employment and Work-Life Balance in Australia

29 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2019

See all articles by Inga Lass

Inga Lass

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research

Mark Wooden

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: October 20, 2019

Abstract

While it is often believed that temporary forms of employment, such as fixed-term contracts, casual work and temporary agency work, provide workers with more flexibility to balance work and private commitments, convincing empirical evidence on this issue is still scarce. This paper investigates the link between temporary employment and work‐life balance in Australia, using longitudinal data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey for the period 2001 to 2017. In contrast to previous studies, we compare results from pooled cross‐sectional and fixed‐effects regressions to investigate the role of time-constant unobserved worker characteristics in linking temporary employment and work-life outcomes. The results show that, after accounting for job characteristics and person-specific fixed-effects, among women only casual employment is unequivocally associated with better work-life outcomes than permanent employment. For men, we mostly find negative associations between all forms of temporary employment and work-life outcomes, but the magnitudes of these associations are much smaller and mostly insignificant in fixed-effects models. This result suggests that male temporary employees have stable unobserved traits that are connected to poorer work-life balance.

Keywords: temporary employment, casual work, HILDA Survey, work-life balance, work-family conflict, Australia, longitudinal methods

JEL Classification: J41, J82, J28, J16

Suggested Citation

Lass, Inga and Wooden, Mark, Temporary Employment and Work-Life Balance in Australia (October 20, 2019). Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 11/19, October 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3472728 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3472728

Inga Lass

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

Mark Wooden (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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