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New campaign encourages men to take up flexible work patterns – news.com.au

April 30, 2015

The Australian  Workplace Gender Equality Agency is launching a campaign to challenge the idea that juggling a job with raising children is largely a woman’s problem.

The Equilibrium Man Challenge aims to increase gender equality in the workforce by promoting flexible working among men. As well as encouraging better work-life balance among men, normalising such arrangements will help reduce ‘flexibility stigma‘ and workplace discrimination often faced  by working mums who are viewed as seeking ‘special treatment’.

Read more at news.com.au

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How the New Flexible Economy Is Making Workers’ Lives Hell – Huffington Post

April 27, 2015

US employers are increasingly using ‘just-in-time scheduling’ to meet demands. This involves using up-to-the-minute data to make staffing decisions in real-time, meaning that employers don’t need to pay anyone to be at work unless they’re needed and avoid paying wages to workers unnecessarily:

Employers assign workers tentative shifts, and then notify them a half-hour or ten minutes before the shift is scheduled to begin whether they’re actually needed. Some even require workers to check in by phone, email, or text shortly before the shift starts.

Just-in-time scheduling is one part of the US’s new ‘flexible’ economy and is lauded by business leaders for improving control over costs.

However, it can have a negative impact on employees as steady hours and predictable pay are eroded. As well as affecting individuals’ financially, it also make planning responsibilities such as childcare. ‘Just-in-time’ scheduling and other forms of flexible work ‘businesses more efficient, but it’s a nightmare for working families’.

Read more at The Huffington Post.

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Work-life balance and the new stay-at-home parent – Globe & Mail

April 24, 2015

The issue of whether new mothers should stay at home with their children is a contentious one; some view being at home as vital to their child’s well being and happiness, while others stress the importance of quality, over quantity of, time.

This article profiles several women who have managed to combine the competing demands of work and family life, using flexible working strategies such as remote working and project work.

Read more at The Globe & Mail.

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News and Comment Round-Up (#6)

April 17, 2015

Below are some of the news articles, commentary pieces and blog posts about flexible working, work-life balance and related issues that we’ve seen this week and that you may have missed. We’ve summarised some of the most interesting – and you can find more in our Media Resources pages.

Let us know if you see anything you think we should include.

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Navigating Tradeoffs in a Dual-Career Marriage – HBR Blog

Dual-earner couples must face a series of negotiations and trade-offs to deal with the competing demands between their work and personal lives, and also between each of their careers. Questions includes those about whose careers will take priority and how domestic labour will be shared. These can be complicated by societal pressures to perform traditional gender roles.

Research shows that, in practice, work is more likely to encroach on personal life than the other way around. It also shows that, over time, the career of the primary breadwinner will take priority.

There are various strategies couples can employ to improve such negotiations. These often rely on utilising flexible working strategies, and have important implications for work-life balance and job satisfaction.

Read more at the Harvard Business Review Blog.

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