Babies and Bosses - Reconciling Work and Family Life (Volume 2)

Austria, Ireland and Japan

image of Babies and Bosses - Reconciling Work and Family Life (Volume 2)

Raising children and having a career both rate highly as important life goals for many people. Helping parents to achieve these goals is vital for society: parental care plays a crucial role in child development and parental employment promotes economic prosperity. A failure to assist parents find their preferred work and family balance has implications for both labour supply and family decisions. This study considers how a wide range of policies, including tax/benefit policies, childcare policies, and employment and workplace practices, help determine parental labour market outcomes and family formation in Austria, Ireland and Japan.

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Main Findings and Policy Recommendations

This chapter presents the main findings and policy conclusions of the review of work and family reconciliation policies in Austria, Ireland and Japan. It starts with a summary of reform options that countries could pursue to help more parents find their preferred balance of work and care commitments. It then summarises key labour market outcomes, showing that the similarity across countries in overall female employment rates in 2002 masks marked differences in underlying trends and the extent to which these employment outcomes vary with the age of the youngest child. The chapter reveals how workplace practices, childcare policy and tax/benefit policy affect the behaviour of parents who are trying to find their preferred balance of work and care commitments. Notwithstanding the focus on employment outcomes, the review also addresses issues in current patterns of family formation and its impact on future labour supply. In all three countries policy objectives aim to “Provide Choice to Parents”, but in practice policies and related outcomes differ markedly across countries...

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