Flexible working arrangements and careers: The effects on peripheral social welfare professionals
Faculty of Business and Public Management
School of Management
The community services sector has seen decreasing funding levels and changes in funding arrangements, including contracting out of services. Various forms of employee flexibility have been used to cope with change. This paper explores the ‘careers’ of nine social welfare professionals who are either multiple jobholders, or short fixed-term contract holders, or both. They work for a number of government and private sector agencies. The paper takes a critical rather than a normative view of flexibility and attempts to discover the impacts of flexibility on the ‘careers’ of the individuals concerned. The paper examines structural factors that constrain workers, and worker agency, which might enable workers to work towards building better careers than the ones they currently have. Overall, it appears to be the former - constraining structural factors - which predominate.