Employer calling: Incidence and worker-level effects of on-call work in Germany

28.08.2023 -  

Neue Publikation von Melanie Borah, Daniel Fackler und Eva Weight

Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), we analyse the incidence and worker-level consequences of on-call work, a work arrangement that allows employers to adjust their employees’ working times flexibly to the workload. We find that around 4%–5% of the workforce was employed in on-call work between 2014 and 2019. On-call workers are on average less educated, have lower tenure and more unemployment experience. They are also more often employed in marginal part-time jobs and smaller firms. On-call workers have a higher discrepancy between contractual and actual working hours and a higher probability of having no working hours stipulated in their contracts, which points towards less security regarding working hours and expected incomes. We also find evidence for lower wages and decreased subjective well-being along various dimensions but these results only apply to women and not to men.

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