Quotation Sardadvar, Karin. 2019. Splitting days, fragmenting work: Split shifts in the cleaning and care sectors. 37th International Labour Process Conference (ILPC 2019), "Fragmentations and Solidarities"; Symposium "Solidarity in the fissured workplace" Wien, Österreich, 24.04.-26.04.


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Abstract

Split shifts are a working time model used in domiciliary elderly care, office cleaning and other service sectors oriented towards clients. They imply that the working day is split into two (or, in some cases, three) parts, with an unpaid break of several hours between shifts. Split shifts are often scheduled at the margins of the day, e.g., one shift in the early morning and one in the evening. These split shifts can imply very long overall working days, including several changes between paid and unpaid work and multiple travel times. Split shifts can be challenging for organising childcare; they have been linked to adverse health effects; and they have been shown to impede workers’ social and family lives and recreation (Mårtensson/Wondmeneh 2013; Åkerstedt et al. 2012; Sardadvar 2012). However, split shifts are a little-investigated mode of labour fragmentation and flexibilization. In my contribution, I will use split shifts in the Austrian cleaning and care sectors as example in order to analyse some of the backgrounds, dynamics, and problems linked to split shifts in a broader context. In the cleaning sector, one main reason for the use of short shifts at unsocial hours is that cleaning work has developed into something performed “invisibly” for the customers (Holtgrewe/Sardadvar 2011, 2012; Schroth/Schürmann 2006). The service triangle of employer, customer or client, and employee (e.g., Leidner 1996; Korczynski 2002) substantially shapes working times and employment conditions. In domiciliary elderly care, the time-bound physical and care-related needs of the clients shape employees’ working times. Both cases raise questions with regard to the impact of customers’ demands on employees’ lives, as well as questions with regard to the regulation of working times and the compensation of hardships. In my contribution, I will discuss how split shifts are used for employment flexibilization and how they result in labour fragmentation for workers.

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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Paper presented at an academic conference or symposium
Language English
Title Splitting days, fragmenting work: Split shifts in the cleaning and care sectors
Event 37th International Labour Process Conference (ILPC 2019), "Fragmentations and Solidarities"; Symposium "Solidarity in the fissured workplace"
Year 2019
Date 24.04.-26.04.
Country Austria
Location Wien
URL https://www.ilpc.org.uk/

Associations

People
Sardadvar, Karin (Details)
Organization
Institute for Sociology and Social Research IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5400 Sociology (Details)
5402 General sociology (Details)
5433 Gender studies (Details)
5904 Ergonomics (Details)
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