Reconciling work and family responsibilities. Practical ideas from global experience

Looks at and synthesizes the experience of governments, employers and trade unions in various countries.

"In this book, Catherine Hein systematically transforms the many provisions recommended by the Convention (Workers with Family Responsibilities, No. 156) from abstractions to useful suggestions for the real world by including examples of how they have been implemented in various countries. The resulting volume, intended to be a resource book of ideas from nations and cultures around the world, has a highly international flavor, with dozens of short examples that make it very readable."
Feminist Economics, Volume 13(2), April 2007

This practical book presents concrete examples of what is being done in countries, communities and enterprises around the world in order to help workers to be better able to reconcile work and family responsibilities such as caring for children and the elderly. The examples provide useful ideas for action by governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations as well as concerned civil society organizations.

The book argues that conflict between work and family responsibilities is increasing in many countries, be they industrialized or developing, as a result of changes in family structures and in the work environment. Work and family conflict can cause major problems for societies, enterprises, families, men and particularly women and is a major source of gender inequalities in employment. Policies and measures by governments and employers’ and workers’ organizations can make a difference.

Looking at evidence from a variety of countries, the volume first considers the social and economic reasons why intervention to reduce work-family conflict is in the interests of governments and the social partners. It then goes on to consider the wide range of policies at national and community level which can help reduce work-family conflict, highlighting the role of government in setting the legislative and policy framework and in stimulating dialogue. A separate chapter is devoted to policies and practices for a family-friendly workplace.

Extensive information is provided on different kinds of care arrangements that have been used to help those with responsibility for children, the elderly, the sick and the handicapped to combine work with their caring responsibilities. Family-friendly working conditions are also considered, in particular, various types of leave entitlements, such as maternity leave, paternity leave, parental leave as well as arrangements related to working time and place, such as flexible work schedules, part-time work and teleworking.