Working patterns and levels of underemployment among Associate Dentists

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1 BDA RESEARCH FINDINGS 3 December 2013 Working patterns and levels of underemployment among Associate Dentists Key Findings Associates work an average of hours per week Administration accounts for 13 per cent of associates working time Ten per cent of associates were classified as underemployed (using the ILO classification) Fourteen per cent of associates wanted to work more hours Introduction The BDA annually submits evidence 1 to the Review Body on Doctors and Dentists remuneration to provide information on changes to the dental profession. One element of this evidence submission is the findings of an annual survey of general dental practitioners in the UK, the Dental Business Trends Survey. The survey seeks to evaluate trends in dentistry and explore key policy issues. This briefing provides the findings of the Dental Business Trends Survey, specifically findings on associate working hours and underemployment. Background

2 The BDA regularly collect evidence on key dentist behavioural elements in dentistry. The working hours and working patterns of dentists has been a part of this for a number of years. The BDA was aware anecdotally, that underemployment of associate dentists is becoming an issue. The BDA has sought to discover what the levels of underemployment are; and will monitor underemployment over the coming years. For the purpose of this study, the BDA is using the definition of underemployment taken from the International Labour Organisation 2 and currently used by the Office for National statistics (ONS). It defines underemployed as someone who is: currently working less than 48 hours per week and willing to work more hours because they want a job additional to their current job, want another job with longer hours, or want more hours in their current job and available to start additional work within two weeks Aims and objectives The findings are taken from associate respondents who took part in the 2013 Dental Business Trends Survey. The aim of the survey was to evaluate trends in dental business practices. Specifically the associate element of the research sought to first, assess the number of working hours associates work per week. Second, to assess the proportion of time associates spend on administration. Third to assess the level of underemployment among associates. Research strategy/design Dental Business Trends is a large scale survey of BDA members across the UK working in general dental practice. Members were selected using the BDA database CARE. The survey was conducted online using SurveyMonkey between 12 th June and 8 th August. A total of 10,058 BDA members were surveyed, with 1,341 responding were, providing a 13 per cent response rate. Data were downloaded from SurveyMonkey and input and analysed in SPSS. 2

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4 Profile of Associate respondents A total of 542 associates responded to the survey, with the vast majority of respondents coming from England. More than half (57 per cent) of respondents were female and respondents had an average age of 41. Over two-thirds of respondents had a high ( per cent patients), with ten percent of respondents working exclusively as private practitioners. Just under a quarter (23 per cent) of associates worked for a dental corporate body. Associates were asked if they had owned a practice prior to become an associate. Table 1 shows that almost a quarter of associates have previously owned a practice. Table 1 Have you ever owned a dental practice? Yes No Total % Total N Sex Male 41.7% 58.3% 100.0% 230 Female 11.0% 89.0% 100.0% % 18.4% 81.6% 100.0% % 24.0% 76.0% 100.0% % 47.6% 52.4% 100.0% 103 Don't know 12.5% 87.5% 100.0% 8 Total 24.4% 75.6% 100.0% 540 Base: All Associates; Missing: 2 There is some variance by sex and. Over 40 percent of male associate had previously been practice owners compared to just 11 per cent of women. Those working with a low were far more likely to have previously owned a dental practice. Findings 4

5 Participants were asked to provide the number of hours they work in an average week. Table 2 shows the average number of hours associates worked per week split by sex and. Table 2 Mean number of hours work per week Mean Std. N (hours/week) Deviation Sex Male Female % % % Don't know Total Base: All Associates; Missing: 5 Table 2 shows that on average associates worked for just under 32 hours per week, however this will include a significant number of part time workers. This is similar to the average found in 2012 Business Trends Survey of hours per week 3. Differences were apparent across sex and. Men worked, on average, worked more hours per week than women (33.75 and hour respectively). There was also a difference in, with those with a lower on average working fewer hours, in comparison with those who work with a medium or higher. Participants were then asked on average how long they spent on administration per week. Table 3 shows the average hours per week respondents spend on administration and the average proportion of working time this accounted for. Table 3 Average time spent on admiration Sex Average admin time per week (hours/week) Average admin time as a proportion of total time Male % 230 Female % % % % % 50 N 5

6 0-24% % 104 Don't know % 7 Total % 536 Base: All Associates; Missing: 6 On average, associates spent just under four hours on administrative work per week, accounting for just under 13 per cent of associates total working week. There was little variation by sex and. This is slightly higher than the average of 3.46 hours per week found in 2012 which accounted for just 11.1 per cent of total, working time. Levels of underemployment among associates A total of 545 associates completed and returned the. Of those, 535 worked less than or equal to 48 hours per week. Associates were asked if they would like to work more hours than they already do. Seventy six (14 per cent) associates stated that they would like to work more hours (Table 4). Table 4 Do you want to work more hours per week? Sex Yes No Don t know Total % N Male 14.8% 78.3% 7.0% 100.0% 230 Female 13.9% 79.7% 6.5% 100.0% % 13.3% 79.5% 7.2% 100.0% % 8.0% 86.0% 6.0% 100.0% % 18.3% 77.9% 3.8% 100.0% 104 Don't know 37.5% 37.5% 25.0% 100.0% 7 Total 14.1% 79.2% 6.7% 100.0% 536 Base: All Associates; Missing: 6 There was little variation by sex, but those working with low were more likely to want to work more hours. Those associates that stated they would like to work more hours per week were then asked how they would prefer to work more hours. Table 5 demonstrates that extending hours in their current role was the preferred method to facilitate the working of more hours. 6

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8 Table 5 Method for work more hours N Per cent of cases Extend the hours in your current role % Take another job in addition to your current job % Take another job with longer hours than your current job % and give up your current job. Don t know 4 5.3% Other 5 6.6% Total cases % Base: Associates in the UK who work less than 48 hours p/w and would like to work more hours. Of those that wanted to work more hours, only 55 were able to start within two weeks, providing the final level of underemployment (Table 6). Table 6 Level of underemployment in the UK Sex Frequency % of population Male % Female % % % 25-74% 4 8.0% 0-24% % Don't know % UK % Base: Associates in the UK who work less than 48 hours p/w, would like to work more hours and are available to start in 2 weeks Table 6 demonstrates the levels of underemployment among associates in the UK, and shows that one in ten associates could be classified as underemployed. There is little variation by the sex and participants. Discussion and implications The findings show that in the past year, while there has not been an increase in the average amount of time in an associates working week, there has been an increase in the amount 8

9 and proportion of time spent on administration. This is an area which will need continued monitoring as its effects have been highlighted in previous BDA campaigns 4. Underemployment is an issue that has been brought to the attention of the BDA. Under the strict definition of underemployment one in ten associates could be classified as underemployed. However, 14 per cent of associates stated that they wanted to work more hours. This is an area of some concern and which the BDA will continue to examine. References BDA (2013) Current DDRB evidence, International Labour Organisation (1996) Current guidelines BDA (2013) Business Trends Survey, BDA (2012) Red tape is destroying dentists morale BDA warns, BDA (2013) Survey of Foundation Trainees and Vocational Dental Practitioners 2013 Further information If you have any questions or would like to learn more about this research, then you can contact the British Dental Association s research team by calling ; 9

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