Tag Archives: inequality

Do we really want to become Danes when it comes to childcare?

 

Ah, the Danish model of childcare. So much ink has been spilt over how great of a system it is, in terms of cost, quality as well as just the abundance/accessibility of it – and consequently how it really supports/allows mothers to get back to work after childbirth.

Yet we all know, we can’t all be Danes… or can we? Continue reading

Flexibility ‘a pipe dream’ for low paid workers – FlexibleBoss

In 2014 Working Families received almost 3,000 calls to its legal advice helpline. Based on this the charity points out that, while workers have the right to request flexible working, for those in low paid sectors flexible working remains a ‘pipe dream’.

Working Families notes that retail, social care, catering and hospitality sectors rely on ‘casualised’ labour, offering contracts that offer little job security and few guaranteed hours:

By their nature, such insecure jobs, with varying and unpredictable weekly hours… [that] make it very difficult if not impossible for workers to successfully request a change in their hours or working pattern to accommodate a change in their family circumstances, or to resist a problematic change in their hours or working pattern…

They point out that refusal to change working hours, often at short notice, “can easily lead to there being no work at all”. An issue exacerbated by the imposition of employment tribunal fees in 2013.

Read more at FlexibleBoss.

Zero hour contracts are ‘tip of the iceberg’ of damaging shift work, say researchers – University of Cambridge

Reporting on new research from the University of Cambridge, this article suggests that zero hour contracts and other modes of flexible working are abused by managers, and are leading to insecurity, anxiety and stress.

Whereas flexible working is often heralded as helping employees, the report’s authors argue it is being subverted to suit employers and is causing suffering to many workers who need to be available at short notice while often not working enough hours to earn a living wage.

They suggest that employees should be granted the statutory right to work additional core hours and have a say in the scheduling of their hours.

Read more here.

How to End the Gender Pay Gap Once and for All – The Atlantic

Noting the 9% pay gap between men and women this article reports on economist Claudia Goldin’s contention that the most important factor in reducing gender inequality is for companies to see the benefits of work flexibility.

While men and women often enter the workforce earning equal wages, as they enter their 30s and 40s, men open up a big lead. Seniority in positions (and pay) comes with longer working hours that many women find hard to combine with other responsibilities.

Importantly, however, she notes that there needs to be a shift in attitudes towards both flexible working and the role of men in childcare.

Read more on The Atlantic.