Maternal movements to part time employment: what is the penalty?

Publication type

Research Paper

Series Number



Sheffield Economic Research Paper Series


Publication date

June 1, 2010


In Britain, part time employment is typically used to combine work and motherhood: 60% of employed mothers in Britain work part time, and this usually involves a transition from full time employment around the first childbirth. Part time jobs are often situated in lower level occupational groups and so a transition from full to part time employment may reduce the wage. Using the British Household Panel Survey this study investigates the wage impact of switching from full to part time employment. Furthermore, mother-specific wage impacts of re-entering employment after childbirth via part time employment are analysed. A mother of one child receives a pay penalty of 7%, switching to part time employment increases this to 15%. Mothers who move from full to part time employment over childbirth receive lower wages than mothers who remained in full or part time employment over childbirth for 10 years after the birth.





working paper



Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest