A little part-time job

It’s commonplace for older people say they’d like a little part-time job when they retire. But just how small can that job be?

A press release issued this week by MGM Advantage reveals how today’s retired workforce spends over 300 million hours a year in part-time work. In terms of the total retirement population this equates to 9%, which is over 1 million people. Of this group, 832,000 are aged 65 and over and 278,000 are between 55 and 64.

All well and good and interesting. However, looking at how that work is broken down reveals the findings to be, frankly, somewhat bizarre.

Number of hours a week retired people spend in part-time work Number of retired people doing this
1 – 2 hours 402,379
3 – 5 hours 393,021
6 – 10 hours 177,795
10 – 15 hours 56,146
16 – 20 hours 46,788
Over 20 hours 28,072

Over 400,000 retired people only doing 1-2 hours paid work a week? What sort of jobs do they do – and how much do they get paid to make doing any work at all at this level worthwhile?

Unfortunately, MGM Advantage themselves were unable to shed light on this, merely confirming that this was paid work as opposed to “charity work, voluntary work, caring for parents and grandchildren etc.”

The fact that nearly 800,000 older people are working less than 5 hours a week and yet still being considered as part-time workers surely calls into question the role and nature of work past retirement. And, of course, that’s without examining the issue of how many would like to work more – or less.

Any views from anyone on what’s going on here?



One Response to A little part-time job

  1. Sheila Wild says:

    I can think of a couple of possibilities. People putting in only a small number of hours a week may be doing voluntary work for which they receieve an honorarium – they will describe this as ‘working’ but the organisation getting the benefit will describe it as voluntary work. Or, they may be minding children or quite literally ‘minding the shop’ in a family business. This does need further research – one for the DWP to look into?

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