Working conditions and union dissolution for cohabiting and married couples in the United Kingdom

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2022


This study uses the British Household Panel Survey to assess how working conditions affect union dissolution, distinguishing between cohabiting and married couples. While previous studies focus on labour income and measures related to working time, we address three new working conditions of the 24/7 economy, namely temporary employment, promotion opportunities, and job responsibility. We find important differences between married and cohabiting couples. In general, married partners have stronger relationship commitments, but they also tend to be more specialized, have greater job security, higher income, and lack of job responsibility, all of which appear to protect the marriage union. In contrast, those in cohabiting unions are more susceptible to demanding working conditions when these are experienced by both partners. Part-time employment and irregular work schedules put cohabitation at risk.

Published in

Community, Work & Family

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 25 , p.330 -352







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