This article notes that fathers who opt to take paternity leave can still face workplace stigma, and it can lead to lower pay and fewer promotions. This mirrors long-standing disadvantages experienced by new mothers in the workplace.
While paternity leave can have long-lasting beneficial effects for both parent and child, taking time off work for family reasons has been shown to reduce men’s earnings, just as it reduced women’s earnings. The article further argues that there are “unwritten workplace norms” that can discourage men from taking advantage of it. Moreover, the share of US companies offering paternity leave has dropped by five percent between 2010 and 2014.
The author point out that this also has implications for women’s involvement in the workplace, as increasing men’s involvement at home is one of the best ways to bolster female participation in the workforce.
In light of recent announcements from prominent technology companies to pay to have female employees eggs frozen, Change.org President Jennifer Dulski announces that the company will offer the same level of parental leave to every employee.
While pointing out that generous benefits like these can be good for business — keeping skilled and experienced staff in the workplace — she also feels it is important that companies don’t “create a set of policies that generate a set of behaviors that perpeturate inequalities among different types of parents.”
In this blog, originally published at The Conversation, WAF Project Principal Investigator, Heejung Chung, explores European Survey data on work-life balance.
This week celebrates the 3rd annual National Work-Life Week in the UK, organised by WAF Project advisory board members Working Families. It’s where both employers and workers are asked to think about their work-life balance and perhaps try to strike a balance, if only for a week.
But how are we doing in terms of work-life balance? To what extent do people in the UK feel like they are satisfied with the balance between their work and family life? Who feels more balance, why? And, more importantly, what can be done to improve work-life balance for everyone? Continue reading →
It demonstrates that though schedule flexibility was associated with less employee stress, the associations between these factors were mediated by perceptions of negative work–family spillover.
Schedule flexibility reduced negative work–family spillover and stress among women, single parents, and employees with heavier family workloads. As such, the authors maintain this supports schedule flexibility as a means of reducing stress for those employees with family responsibilities.
Jang, Soo Jung; Zippay, Allison; Park, Rhokeun (2012) “Family Roles as Moderators of the Relationship Between Schedule Flexibility and Stress” Journal of Marriage and Family, 74
Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.00984.x/abstract
90% of employees agreed that having more choice in working arrangements improves morale
35% of employees felt that people who work flexibly create more work for others
The availability of flexible working was important for 41% of employees when they made their decision to work for their current employer.
Those with flexible working arrangements were more likely to work long hours, suggesting that such practices facilitate greater labour market involvement.
Tipping, Sarah; Chanfreau, Jenny; Perry, Jane; Tait, Claire (2012) The Fourth Work-Life Balance Employee Survey, Employment Relations Research Series 122, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
This article demonstrates that flexible working was more likely to be granted to high-status men who requested flexible schedules to allow them to further develop their careers.
For women, neither their status nor their reason for wanting a flexible schedule significantly impacted decisions to grant their request.
They suggest this has the effect of both reinforcing gendered status hierarchies, and perpetuating them.
Managers’ Willingness to Grant Flexitime Request (Brescoll et al., 2013: 376)
Brescoll, Victoria, L.; Glass, Jennifer; Sedlovskaya, Alexandra (2013) “Ask and Ye Shall Receive? The Dynamics of Employer-Provided Flexible Work Options and the Need for Public Policy” Journal of Social Issues, 69(2)
The author notes his feeling of guilt as he leaves his wife to look after a new born child, but also that he fears a request by him for parental leave would be refused and, ultimately, damage his career prospects.
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 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.