A third of charity jobs are part time and almost three-quarters of staff working in the sector are women, according to new research.
The People Count Third Sector 2015 report, produced by the research company Agenda Consulting, is based on a survey of 73 organisations that collectively employ 60,000 staff.
It says that 33 per cent of those working in the third sector are employed in part-time roles. This is a rise of five percentage points on last year’s study and 13 percentage points higher than the figure for the UK workforce as a whole.
Women are twice as likely to be employed in part-time roles, the report says. Thirty-seven per cent of women who work in the voluntary sector have part-time roles, compared with 18 per cent of men.
Overall, 73 per cent of the third sector workforce are women, with the majority of them working in non-management roles (75 per cent).
The report says that 53 per cent of senior managerial roles in the sector are occupied by women and 32 per cent of chief executives in the sector are female.
About half of the organisations surveyed pledged to do an equal pay audit in the next three years and 26 per cent of respondents said they had carried one out in the past three years.
The study says there are large differences in absence rates depending on the size of the employer. Organisations with fewer than 100 employees have a median figure of 2.4 days ofabsence per employee; organisations with more than 1,000 employees had 11.4 days of absence per employee.
The proportion of management posts filled internally has dropped significantly to 24 per cent from 40 per cent in the past year, the study says. Agenda said this indicated that charities were less inclined to recruit internally for senior positions and were widening the search to find the "right people".
Twenty-three per cent of charity staff left their roles last year, with turnover rates the highest among fundraising staff (29 per cent).
Roger Parry, chief executive of Agenda, said: "The findings this year show that recruitment and retention are key challenges for organisations. Absence management is clearly a major issue for larger organisations and we would encourage them to explore more deeply what lies behind the metrics. On a positive note, the number of charities looking at equal pay audits is particularly encouraging."