MORE workers have been forced to take part-time jobs because of the rise in unemployment, a survey found. The poll also said employment laws failed to protect the growing number of part-time workers. Conducted by the Confederation of Trade Unions in December and January, the survey asked why people chose part-time work. It canvassed 130 part-time workers, mostly in the service and retail sectors, as well as in manufacturing. The survey found 34 per cent of respondents were caring for children and that was one of the main reasons for taking a part-time job. 'The most worrying trend is a similar percentage of interviewees who said they couldn't find a full-time job or that part-time jobs were more available,' said confederation spokesman Tam Chun-yin. About 60 per cent of respondents had previously worked full-time and 90 per cent said their salary had fallen. Under the present law, only those working more than 18 hours a week and continuously employed for four weeks are protected by the Employment Ordinance. 'Sixty per cent of respondents are working fewer than 18 hours a week, which means they are not provided with double pay [annual bonus], retirement or pension benefits,' said Mr Tam. The survey will be submitted to the Legislative Council with proposals for the Government to protect the part-time workforce. 'Some countries allow part-time workers working over eight hours a week to stay in the protection net,' said Mr Tam.