Weekend Workers Are Mostly Women

Armen Hareyan's picture

Working on Weekends

More women than men are working weekends new research from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University shows.

Nearly 20 percent of Canadians work weekends, mostly in the service sector and in part-time, temporary or seasonal jobs. And because more women work in part-time and temporary jobs, most weekend workers are female.

Between 1991 and 1999, the percentage of people working weekends increased from 11 percent to 18.5 percent.


"Weekend workers are employed at a time when most others, including their family and friends are resting or socializing. It is an unsocial schedule that is disruptive to people's leisure and family time," says Isik Zeytinoglu, professor of human resources at DeGroote.

Businesses tend to stay open on weekends to increase profits, use capital efficiently by not keeping it idle and provide extended hours of service for consumers. However, for the people who are doing the work or providing the service, the cost of this convenience can be increased stress, physical and mental health problems and ultimately decreased productivity at work.

"An active social life outside of the workplace and a healthy work environment, as well as meaningful employment and economic stability, are important components of overall health and well being," says Zeytinoglu.

The study is included in the book Decent Working Time: New Trends, New Issues launched this week in Geneva at the Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO).