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Genuinely flexible working for parents and carers remains the exception – The Guardian

April 16, 2014

This article questions the extent to which UK workplaces allow flexible working for carers and parents. It reports comments that suggest women are unable to recover their careers after taking time out of work for childcare with concomitant losses in productivity.

It suggests order tramadol from troy pharmacy that line managers can play a key role in workplace flexibility and need to be educated about the importance of work-life balance in maintaining and improving worker engagement, loyalty and productivity.

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Better childcare? Only if British dads and employers mend their ways – The Guardian

In Sweden there is 480 days of parental leave per child, paid for by government at 80% of salary and heavily subsidised daycare. However, this article argues that their model of childcare wouldn’t work without the flexibility of employers and the commitment most Swedish men and women have to a more equal division of parenting responsibilities.

He argues that making British employers amenable to the flexibility required of the Swedish model from both male and female parents will be difficult.  He goes on to note that, from his British perspective, taking time away from his career and ‘seeing my income plummet and opportunities sail away has taken some getting used to’. He notes that his experience of this perhaps reflect what working women and mothers have long experienced but suggests that inculcating such a cultural shift among many British men will prove tough.

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Modern Parenthood: Roles of Moms and Dads Converge as They Balance Work and Family – Pew Research

This article reports on new US-based research by the Pew Research Center. The full report includes extensive data on the time-use of parents, and public attitudes towards parents and work.

Among its findings, this article reports that while the gap between the amount of time spent working in and out of the house for men and women with children is narrowing ‘Neither has overtaken the other in their “traditional” realms’.

Furthermore, many mothers and fathers report feeling stressed about maintaining work-life balance: 56% of working mums and 50% of working dads find it very or somewhat difficult to balance competing time demands. Thirty-three per cent of parents with children under 18 years of age say they feel they are not spending enough time with their children.

The article goes on to note that there remain gendered aspects in attitudes to work, with fathers more likely to want to work full-time. Only 16% of those surveyed believe that a mother of young child working full-time is the ‘ideal situation’.

Read more at Pew Research.

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How to cure a sexist boss: insist on equality at home – The Guardian

April 2, 2014

This article argues that there is a need for sensible workplace policy that gives parents more control of their hours and lets women return from maternity leave in a constructive way. While this is lacking women are forced from good jobs into poorer ones. Indeed, in Europe and the USA, women fill fewer than 15% of leadership roles and are still paid less than men for similar work.

Promoting 50-50 equality in the workplace and at home will, it argues, makes women happier and work teams more productive; reduce feelings of guilt for men who are unable to spend time with their children; strengthen couples; improve chances for other women; and help improve children’s wellbeing.

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Women and Men Both Ask for Flex Time at Work. Guess Who Gets It? – Slate

Researchers from Yale, Texas, and Harvard Universities have found that managers are more likely to grant flexitime requests to men in both professional and hourly-paid employment.

Women were unlikely to be granted flexitime regardless of the reason for their request. Women with childcare needs who worked in lower-status role – were among the least likely to have requests approved. Even when the reason for leave was professional development or training it was also more likely for men to have requests granted.

The author infers that managers and female members of staff have an absence of trust as women – strongly associated with family care – are assumed to either hide their real reasons for wanting flexitime, or do not deserve it as they will later opt-out of work to assume childcare responsibilities.

Read more on Slate.

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