Babies and Bosses - Reconciling Work and Family Life

A Synthesis of Findings for OECD Countries

image of Babies and Bosses - Reconciling Work and Family Life

Finding a suitable work/family life balance is a challenge that all parents face. Some people would like to have (more) children, but do not see how they could match that commitment with their employment situation. Other parents are happy with the number of children in their family, but would like to work more. Yet other parents who are happy with their family situation, may wish to work at different hours, or reduce hours worked to spend more time with their children. This book synthesises the finding of the 13 individual country reviews published previously and extends the scope to include other OECD countries, examining tax/benefit policies, parental leave systems, child care support, and workplace practices.

"...a good source for a socio-political analysis of OECD countries and comparative political hypothesis testing."

-Stan Silverberg, Catawba College 

"...a great way of helping students learn to read and interpret graphical data."

-Ken Wedding, author of The AP Comparative Government and Politics Examination: What You Need to Know, Second Edition

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Family-friendly Workplace Practices

Working hours are very important to people trying to reconcile work and family life. They differ enormously across countries, but also within countries, with different types of workers having different access to different types of flexible workplace measures. The first section of this chapter illustrates cross-national differences in usual working hours, and documents national policy differences on weekly working hours, paid annual leave and the part-time employment conditions. Subsequent sections illustrate the potential business case for family-friendly workplaces, with some practices (e.g. part-time work, flexitime) being more prevalent than others (e.g. teleworking, childcare support). The chapter concludes with a discussion of different public policy approaches to extending family-friendly workplace practices, which range from encouragement of employers to expand such provisions, to ensuring that all workers have some access to family-friendly workplace support.

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