Connect with us


Women dominate Ireland’s worst jobs while men take the top roles



Women dominate Ireland’s worst jobs while men take the top roles

Women and younger workers tend to dominate Ireland’s worst jobs while men dominate the best positions in the country new research has found.

More than a quarter of jobs in Ireland are assessed as being of poor quality with characteristics including low wages, demanding workloads, precarious positions and being tightly monitored and controlled by employers. The joint report from the Nevin Economics Research Institute and the UCD School of Business found these precarious, low-paid jobs are more apparent among females, young workers, those without a third-level qualification, workers in elementary, caring, leisure and sales and customer service roles and those employed in small firms.

In contrast, one in five workers have good jobs that pay well, provide good employment security, good work-life flexibility, and provide workers with high levels of discretion over the conduct of their work. The research found that men are almost three times more likely than women to occupy these high-quality jobs and that men are significantly less likely to have poor-quality jobs.

The report said there is a marked pattern of occupational gender segregation in the Irish labour market. Women are more likely to be paid low earnings, to be anxious about their future prospects, to work long hours, experience more work-into-life spillage and conflict, have lower levels of trade union representation and are less likely to receive substantial training.

In between these good and bad jobs are jobs of moderate job quality in which half the workforce is employed. These job types are classified as secure, full-time, permanent employment, offer workers the opportunity to have a say in how their work is performed, and they tend not to generate work-life conflict. While these jobs provide good benefits and perks, the pay is below or at average earnings levels. 

The research, compiled by John Geary professor at UCD’s School of Business and Lisa Wilson senior economist at NERI, found that even good jobs have negative attributes. Long working hours are a prominent feature of ‘secure, high-quality’ jobs. Jobs in the FDI sector are generally high-quality however, these workers are more likely to have greater demands placed upon them, they work longer hours, experience greater work-life spillage and encounter higher intensive work effort levels.

“The Irish economy has generated substantial numbers of high-quality good jobs,” the researchers said. “Still, low-wage employment and insecure terms and conditions of employment are prominent features of many jobs. Plainly, more needs to be done to turn these jobs into jobs of moderate or of high quality.”

They said the State can play a role in improving job quality and recommends the establishment of minimum standards across a series of job quality dimensions. “It could also do more regarding paternal leave: shared maternity-paternity leave would lessen the care burden on women. While these options are not without difficulty, there is precedent for doing so,” they said. “We already have a national minimum wage, and we are working towards the achievement of a living wage. Workers have rights in respect of sick pay and there is the forthcoming code in respect of the right to request flexible working. There are very significant gains that improve people’s job quality.”

“Good jobs enhance the productive capacity of an economy. Poor jobs do not and worse they lead to negative spill overs, including impaired wellbeing and health, where the state – to put it prosaically – is compelled to pick up the tab.”

Continue Reading