UCOL’s plan to cut many part-time jobs and replace them with far fewer full-time jobs will harm women, says TEU organiser Heather Warren.
UCOL plans to cut dozens of part-time positions and replace them with a smaller number of new positions as full-time roles.
Warren says UCOL needs to be aware that these cuts will adversely affect the diversity of its workforce and any obligations it has as an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.
UCOL’s Equal Employment Opportunity Policy states that it is committed to creating an inclusive and accessible environment in which everyone is able to fulfil their potential and make their contribution regardless of gender, ethnicity, culture, disability, sexual orientation, age, family circumstances or religion. Yet, many of the people who could lose their jobs if UCOL’s restructuring goes ahead are women in part-time positions.
“Part-time positions are pivotal in engaging women in the workforce,” says Warren, “and removing these roles is directly opposed to the employer’s EEO policy statement. Women, in particular, will be shut out of the workforce due to family circumstances.”
UCOL’s policy also states that it is committed to identifying and eliminating discriminatory practices as defined by the Human Rights Act.
Warren says that cutting part-time roles will entrench rather than eliminate discriminatory employment practices.
“Providing part-time work is a family-friendly practice that allows women to use their skills, knowledge and talent to enhance a workplace while providing them with flexibility to continue their role as primary caregivers for dependants”, says Warren.
“By disestablishing part-time positions the employer is limiting the ability for women to engage in the workforce and is sending a message that it is not a family-friendly employer.”