Employers and work-life balance

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The debate – Latest research

A-Z of research By subject By user type

Employee Absence: a survey of management policy & practice
London: Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development
Annual survey of sickness absence policy and practice. Available as a free document on CIPD website, once registered as a guest.
Subject: absence
Audience: employer support

Employee Counselling Services
London: Incomes Data Services, 1999
Provides case study information about implementing an EAP and a detailed list of
providers and their services
Subject: stress
Audience: employer support




Facts about women and men in Great Britain 2003
Manchester, Equal Opportunities Commission, 2003
Annual facts and figures on relative position of men and women in Britain.
Subjects: diversity
Audience: self-help

Family Business
London: Demos, 2000
ISBN: 1841800058
Contributions from an international range of individuals and that discusses the emerging work-life agenda, assessment of recent policy initiatives and offers practical solutions for the future.
Subject: family friendly
Audience: academic

Family-Friendly Employment: The Business Case, Research Report 136
Brighton: Institute for Employment Studies, 1999
Examination of family friendly practices to identify their aims, costs, implementation and effects and outline business benefits to obtained by organisations. Also provides practical examples of how SMEs have successfully implemented family-friendly working practices.
Subject: family friendly
Audience: employer support

Family friendly rights
London, Hammonds, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, June 2003
ISBN 1 84398 004 5
New title in the CIPDs Law at Work’s Legal essentials series, written by Hammonds. In-depth guidance for employers on how to implement the family friendly legislation, which came into force in April 2003 and the existing, enhanced parental rights.
Subject: family friendly
Audience: Employer

Family-friendly working? Putting policy into practice
York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2002
Research into 17 companies in financial services sector in Scotland and then compared policy with practice in four case-study companies.
Subject: family friendly
Audience: employer support /academ

Flexible futures: flexible working and work-life integration: summary findings from stage two of the research
Cooper, Cary L Professor, London, Centre for Business Performance, ICAEW, October 2001
Second stage of research commissioned by Centre for Business Performance, at Institute of Charted Accountants, in England and Wales, into flexible working and the accountancy profession. This part of the research was a more in-depth study into issues, which arose from the first stage. The report can be accessed as an electronic PDF document from Centre of Business Performance at ICAEW.
Subjects: work life balance
Audience: academic

Flexible working employee survey – results of the first survey
Tom Palmer, DTI, April 2004
DTI survey found amongst other things, that 52% of respondents were aware of the right to ask for flexible working, 13% of employees had requested flexible working options since April 2003, 38% asking for part-time, 25% for flexitime options. More women, than men, showed awareness of the rights (55% to 49%), and more women asked for flexible working, (41% compared with 31%) with significant gap between women and men with children under six years old (37% compared with 10%).

Subject: Flexible working
Type of document: Employer, policy maker

Flexible Working in the IT Industry: Long-hours cultures and work-life balance at the margins, March 2004,
Subject: Work-life balance
Type of document: Employer

Flexible Working: meeting the business challenge
Equal Opportunities Review No.127, March 2004, pp7-11
Case study of Central Scotland Forest Trust (CSFT). CSFT saw addressing work-life balance issues as a way to improve performance, introducing homeworking and flexitime, time of in lieu, flexible holiday leave and a dog policy. This resulted in a dramatic fall in the rate of staff turnover, an increase in the number of staff looking to stay at the organisation, and a reduction in short-term and stress related absence rates.
Case study of Job Centre Plus, Birmingham and Solihull, where the DWP’s ‘diversity with purpose’ strategy was employed to give a more diverse workforce reflecting their customers more fully. Job Centre Plus Birmingham and Solihull introduced flexible working hours, job shares, generous paternity and maternity leave allowances and a scheme to keep in touch with those on leave.
Subject: Flexible working
Type of document: Policy maker, employer

Flexible working: Survey of awareness
London, Equal Opportunities Commission
Short survey of 800 people about their knowledge of and attitudes to changes in flexible working entitlements.
Subjects: flexible working arrangements
Audience: employer support

Flexible working: the right to request and the duty to consider: a guide for employers and employees
London, Department of Trade and Industry
Detailed guidance on the right for employees to request flexible working and the duty on the employer to consider requests seriously. In 8 main sections, the guide covers: eligibility; making an application, considering an application; reaching a decisions; exceptions to the procedure and withdrawals; unresolved applications; and how the right works with other legislation.
Subjects: flexible working arrangements
Audience: self help/ employer support

Flexible working – why is no one applying?
Klegal, 15 September 2003
Results of survey carried out by Klegal into the number of requests for flexible working, which legislation introduced in April 2003, entitled working parents to. Klegal’s findings indicate that very few requests have been made, and suggest some reasons for the reticence.
Subject: family friendly
Audience: employer

Full and fulfilling employment: creating the labour market of the future
London, Department of Trade and Industry, April 2002
This paper "analyses the UK labour market and sets out the Government’s vision of its future direction and the policies being delivered to help achieve this." It explains the three principles that underlie government policies for the labour market of the future: full employment, diversity and choice, and raising productivity. Government interventions involve: delivering macroeconomic stability; promoting work for those who can and providing security for those who can’t; making work pay; investing in childcare; promoting skills and lifelong learning; minimum employment standards; providing information; and promoting high performance workplaces.
Subjects: business performance
Audience: academic




Gender, jobs and working conditions in the European Union
Fagan, Colette , Dublin, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 2002
Research paper based on findings from the 3rd European survey on working conditions, this report assesses the gendered nature of working conditions. Analysis includes: gender segregation in paid and unpaid work; job content and workplace environment; working time and impact of working conditions on health and work life balance.
Subjects: diversity
Audience: academic

Getting it Right: Improving Work-Life Balance in Your Business
Produced by the Federation of Small Businesses in association with the NSPCC & BCC
to raise awareness and promote the benefits of the flexible working legislation in SMEs.
Subject: work life balance
Audience: employer support

Good companies, better employees:
How community involvement and good corporate citizenship can enhance
employee morale, motivation, commitment and performance
Subject – business performance
Audience: employer




Health and Well-being in the Workplace: managing health, safety and well-being at work to boost business performance
London , Director Publications, 2002
ISBN: 1-90158-087-3
A guide for directors on how to handle issues around safety and health risk management, and how to implement a well-being programme. It highlights stress-related sickness absence. Contributions include theories, policies and case studies.
Subjects: business performance
Audience: employer support

High Performance management practices, working hours and work-life balance
M White, S Hill, C Mills and D Smeaton, British Journal of Industrial Relations, June 2003, vol. 41, no. 2, pp.175 – 195
The effects of selected high performance practices and working hours on work-life balance are analysed with data from national surveys of British employees in 1992 and 2000.
Subject: work-life balance
Audience: academic

How to tackle psychological issues and reduce work-related stress
Luxembourg; Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2002
ISBN: 9-29191-009-0
Report on the psychological working environment and occupational stress. Includes: examples of legislation and regulation in Europe; improvements in the psychological work environment – stress and risk management, health circles, absence management; reduction of stress; prevention of violence at work and prevention of bullying. Each area is supported by case studies from European wide organisations.
Subjects: stress
Audience: academic




Impact of women’s position in the labour market on pay and implications for UK productivity, The
Walby, Sylvia Professor , London Department of Trade and Industry
Research report produced by the Women and Equality Unit for the DTI on the impact of women’s position in the labour market, on their pay and the implications for productivity. Includes analysis of: the concept and measurement of productivity; gender pay gap; occupational mobility surrounding childbirth; training and learning. Includes statistics throughout.
Subjects: diversity
Audience: academic

Investors in people guide to helping organisations manage work-life balance
Investors in People UK, 2003
ISBN: 0-11706-108-5
Short guide to a work-life balance model, and how to implement this in an organisation. Discusses aspects of the model: principles; indicators; culture; strategy; action and effectiveness. Includes glossary and useful contacts.
Subject: work-life balance
Audience: employers




Job satisfaction and work-life balance in the US and Europe: Are you happy at work?
Oswald, Andrew Place: Warwick
Finds that job satisfaction is U-shaped over the life cycle. Examines the characteristics associated with high levels of job satisfaction.
Subjects: work life balance
Audience: academic

Job-sharing IDS Study 695
London: Incomes Data Services, August 2000
Pros and cons of job-sharing and examines the practical implications of this type of working arrangement.
Subject: flexible working arrangements
Audience: employer support




Labour Turnover 2003: A survey of Ireland and the UK
Latest annual survey of labour turnover in the UK
Subject: Absence
Audience: policy maker, employer



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