A social media post advertising for 'mum hour workers' has sparked huge interest from Kiwis wanting to work part-time.
It comes as online employment websites report it's a "job-seekers market" with Trade Me data showing over 80,000 job vacancies from April to June and job ads up 25 percent.
Statistics New Zealand unemployment data shows COVID-19 affected more women than men. From the December 2020 quarter to the March 2021 quarter, there were 8000 more underemployed people, of which 7000 were women.
Despite the recent spike in new jobs advertised, a post on the Rotorua Jobs Facebook page for 'mum hour workers' has racked up dozens of comments and shares.
Posted on behalf of Aotearoa Labour Hire, the opening line states "We are on the hunt for MUM hour workers".
"Please message me if you are keen to work between 9:30 and 2pm Monday to Friday," the post reads.
The role involves working in a pine tree nursery, planting or boxing cuttings. The pay is $20 an hour plus 8 percent, so $21.60 plus an incentive piece rate.
By Monday, the post had racked up 97 comments and 58 shares. Many Facebook users tagged friends they thought the hours would suit, while others confirmed they were interested and had messaged the advertiser.
Some shared comments of support, a couple of men checking that 'mums hours' applied to both parents.
"Awesome, first seasonal company to seem to cater to parents' needs," Roxanne said.
"That's awesome offering those hours so mums can get some mahi," Shane said.
Aotearoa Labour Hire managing director Izzy Whitley said on Monday the post had attracted over 100 applicants, including "dozens of mums" and a few men.
For each job request, there were specific job hours. For the particular contract they were recruiting for, it had been difficult finding quality, "drug-free" candidates who were eager to work.
"You've got hard-working mums almost reigniting the faith we always had that there's still people keen and eager to work... you just have to be more flexible with it," Whitley said.
Confirming the post applies to both males and females wanting part-time work, a spokesperson for the Aotearoa Labour Hire Tauranga branch said as demand for "parent hours" in their local community increased, they wanted to accommodate them.
"I had someone cry this morning as she was thankful for the opportunity to still work around her kids and not rely on the benefit to get her through," the spokesperson said.
Priscilla Chand, founder of online business 'Hire Her', said following COVID-19, women were increasingly looking for work "on their own terms", around school holidays and family commitments.
"All the mums I speak to love freelancing - it's the thing that allows them to integrate a balance," Chand said.
SEEK New Zealand country manager Rob Clark said over the last four years, there hasn't been much change in the percentage of part-time roles advertised. But the current "job-seekers market" puts more onus on employers to be flexible, to attract the right people.
"Flexibility in terms of hours and location is one of the key drivers Kiwis are negotiating when applying for new roles," Clark said.