Part-time work as a particular and increasingly widespread form of atypical employment has been regarded from a variety of perspectives and consequently assessed in so many contradictory ways. Carrying out paid work in alternative – reduced – working-time schedules has emerged as an increasingly popular way of gainful employment starting with women entering the labour market in the post-war period in Western Europe. Women’s high concentration in usually lower status part-time jobs was conducive to creating and maintaining vertical sex segregation between men and women, perpetuating at the same time all the disadvantages that a part-time employee accumulates during his/her working career. Women’s influx into the labour market in Central and Eastern European socialist regimes led to similar sex differences in working life patterns in the two regions with the notable exception of part-time employment. Similarly to other forms of atypical work part-time was virtually non-existent in the state controlled labour market of the socialist countries.