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The debate - Latest research


Family Friendly
Key Issues in Women's Work
Catherine Hakim
September 2004
New research asserts that the Swedish experience of of family friendly policies is not as it seems. Although there is a well developed system of family friendly initiatives, the glass ceiling is higher than in the US with women comprising only 1.5% of senior management as compared to 11% in the US. The author believes that raising children and having a career are fundamentally incompatible.
Subject: Family Friendly
Type of document: Academic

Shared responsibility? Short- and long-term effects of Sweden's "Daddy-month" reform
John Ekberg, Richard Eriksson and Guido Friebel, Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) Working Paper
April 2004
Review of the effect of the 1995 introduction of paternal leave in Sweden. The research looks at the behaviour of fathers with children born two weeks before and two weeks after 'Daddy Leave' was introduced. The conclusion states that the number of fathers taking zero (0) days parental leave decreased from 54% to 18%, and that fathers taking one month parental leave increased from 9% to 47%. However the option of one month of leave did not appear to have affected male attitudes to childcare, which remained a predominantly female preserve. Fathers taking the 'Daddy Month' already felt they should help in childcare, thus the option did not result in men taking time off for childcare duties who would not previously have considered it a necessary duty.
Subject: Family friendly
Type of Document: Academic

'The British Lone Parent Cohort and their Children 1991 to 2001'
Alan Marsh & Sandra Vegeris, Department for Work and Pensions, 2004.
DWP report showing a rise in the number of lone parents in employment since 1991, from 29% of the sample of 940 parents, to 56% in 2001. It is indicative that 2/3 of the lone parent families followed by the researchers over the ten year period of the study had done well.
Subject: Flexible working
Type of document: Academic, policy maker

Reflections on the Integration of Paid Work with the rest of life
Suzan Lewis, Rhona Rapoport and Richenda Gambles
Paper looking at why societies seem stuck about how to make equitable, satisfactory and sustainable changes in the ways in which paid work can be combined with the rest of life. It examines why work-personal life integration issues have become so pressing and reflects on implications for working towards more fundamental changes.
Subject: work-life balance
Audience: academic

Work and family life in the 21st century
Shirley Dex, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, September 2003
ISBN 1 85935 095 X
“An overview of a research programme examining the relationship between work and family life, drawing together the findings from 19 individual research projects to provide a comprehensive overview of the state of this relationship at the beginning of the twenty-first century, addressing issues such as childcare, caring for older relatives, employment and self-employment, flexible working, working unsociable hours and the ability to move with a job.”
Subject: work-life balance
Audience: academic

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

Working Mums: what impact on children’s early years development
Paul Gregg and Liz Washbrook, The Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation, Bristol University, Issue 9, August 2003, pp1 - 4
Overview of research into working mothers and their children’s cognitive development, based on birth cohorts from the early 1990s. Provides link to full academic research report.
Subject: diversity
Audience: academic

Childcare for working parents: fifth report of session 2002-3
Norwich, TSO, July 2003
ISBN: 0215011481
Report and minutes from the House of Commons Work and Pensions select committee on working parents and childcare. Issues addressed include: Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) vision of childcare; provision of childcare; funding of childcare providers; children’s centres; childcare tax credit; informal care funding; tax incentives for employers and the childcare workforce.
Subject: family friendly
Audience: academic

Understanding the People and Performance
London: Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, 2002 www.cipd.org.uk
Three-year investigation into the impact of people management practices on business performance, by looking inside “the black box”. Comprises of 12 organisational case studies.
Subject: business performance
Audience: academic

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 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 /academic

The Demanding Society: Managing Work in 2010
London: Ceridian Centrefile, 2002
Survey looks at the employer and employee's point of view and investigates what changes are required to shape the future work of work.
Subject: organisational culture
Audience: employer support /academic

The Management Agenda
Horsham: Roffey Park Management Institute
Annual overview of managers' opinions on employment issues and the challenges that they face at work. Research findings divided into five main themes; organisational change; organisational life; organisational culture; the employee deal and working across boundaries, such as e-business. Statistics cited throughout.
Subject: business performance
Audience: academic

Married to the Job?
London: Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, June 2001
Survey explores the impact of working long hours on relationships with family, friends and work colleagues. Available as a free document on CIPD website, once registered as a guest.
Subject: work life balance
Audience: academic

Taking the Strain
London: Institute of Management/PPP healthcare, 2000
ISBN: 0-85946-313-3
Looks at workplace issues that contribute to managerial stress levels and has found that stress levels reported seven years ago and considered unsustainable at that time have not improved.
Subject: stress
Audience: employer support /academic

Burnt Out or Burning Bright? The Effect of Stress in the Workplace
London: The Mental Health Foundation, 2001
ISBN: 1 903645 10 7
Research into the effects of stress in the workplace compiled following discussions with directors, senior executives and human resource managers at companies including Credit Suisse First Boston, Volvo Car UK Limited and Pearson plc and is supplemented by a review of current literature on stress at work.
Subject: stress
Audience: employer support/academic

Research on Work-Related Stress
Luxembourg: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2002
ISBN: 9282892557
Comprehensive report on work-related stress in the EU.
Subject: stress
Audience: academic

Work-Life Balance: Careers and The Psychological Contract
Horsham: Roffey Park Management Institute, 2000
This research suggests that work-life balance is an issue that appears to be exerting a
growing influence on employee career decisions.
Subject: work life balance
Audience: academic

Work-Life Balance: The Role of the Manager
Horsham: Roffey Park Management Institute, 2002
Regardless of whether formal policies are in place, it is the attitudes, skills and behaviours of line managers, which ultimately determine the success of flexible working arrangements.
Subject work life balance
Audience: academic

Perspectives on the Study of Work-Life Balance
A Discussion Paper Prepared for the 2001 ENOP Symposium, Paris, March 29-31 by Professor David Guest of The Management Centre, King’s College, London.
Subject: work life balance
Audience: academic

Balanced Lives: Changing work patterns for men New Ways to Work
London: New Ways to Work
Draws on the views and experiences of over 100 men who are working reduced and flexible hours, taking career breaks and working from home. Includes 17 case studies.
Subject: flexible working arrangements
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

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

Quality of women's work and employment: tools for change
Dublin , European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, December 2002
ISBN: 9-28970-206-0
Report on how EU member states have been improving the participation rates of women in the labour market. However, this report attempts to move beyond mere numbers to address the issue of the quality of work, and outcomes, for women. The Foundation proposes some tools and strategies to improve the quality of women's working lives
Subjects: diversity
Audience: academic

Annual report on equal opportunities for women and men in the European Union 2002
Luxembourg, Commission of the European Communities, 2002
Report from the EU on equal opportunities in 2002. Addresses issues such as: progress on gender equality legislation and case law; equal pay; harassment; women's participation in decision making and adoption of gender legislation in member countries.
Subjects: diversity
Audience: academic

Blurring the home/work boundary: profiling employers who allow working from home
Felstead, Alan, Leicester, Centre for Labour Market Studies, April 2001
ISSN: 1469-1531
This paper examines how many workplaces offer non-managerial staff the option to work at home. In so doing, it identifies the characteristics of workplaces where working at home is permitted. The paper also tests 12 hypotheses, which emerged from a review of the family-friendly and working at home literature.
Subjects: flexible working arrangements
Audience: academic

Desperately seeking flexibility: is job share the answer?
Savage, Carol, Knell, John, Janman, Karen Dr, London, Industrial Society, 2001
ISBN: 1-85835-980-5
This study explores the characteristics of flexible working and job sharing among senior managers in the UK. A joint study between The Industrial Society, The Resource Connection and SHL
Subjects: flexible working arrangements
Audience: academic

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

Are you happy at work? : job satisfaction and work-life balance in the US and Europe
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

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

True flexibility at work: attitudes towards the 24/7 culture
Holton, Viki, Berkhamstead, Ashridge Management College, February 2002
ISBN: 0-90354-245-5
Report of research carried out into attitudes to flexible working of 250 senior managers in the UK. General findings were that flexible working is expected to become more prevalent and these attitudes appear to be informed by their own experiences of balancing work and home responsibilities.
Subjects: flexible working arrangements
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

Telework - the new industrial revolution? : Home and work in the 21st century
London, Trades Union Congress, August 2001
This report looks at the reality of teleworking - working from home with the aid of a computer. It examines how telework might fit in with a progressive employment strategy to increase flexibility and individual choice and improve the work-life balance. The report looks at trends in teleworking, who actually teleworks, compares the UK picture with teleworking and home working across Europe and the United States, and discusses what the prospects are for telework in the future.
Subjects: flexible working arrangements
Audience: academic




© Work-Life balance part of The Work Foundation 2004