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Anita work life balance eclo


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Anita work life balance eclo

  1. 1. Work Life Balance 1
  2. 2. THE TIMES IN A WORKING LIFE WHERE WORKLIFE BALANCE BECOMES AN ISSUEIssues of work life balance are becoming more important toorganisations that wish to be seen as an “employer of choice”.Policy developments have improved the situation for someworkers in some organisations, but the individual response isstill patchy. Some employers will offer the absolute legalminimum, whereas others embrace the notion of work lifebalance for all, and see it as a basic right for their workforce.The “vital” organisation should be able to recognise, andrespond to, the moral and business case for work life balance,enabled through a variety of flexible working initiatives.However the effects of the current financial climate may wellwipe out the progress that has been made. 2
  3. 3. Research Question Where in a working life does work life balance become an issue?  Specifically, what about older workers as they prepare for retirement? 3
  4. 4. Definitions “…. a growing recognition that individuals require a satisfactory balance between the demands of work and those of the rest of life” “ Work life balance is about the challenges that face individuals when they are trying to hold paid work and home in domestic life in balance. “ ECLO Conference 2009 4
  5. 5. Work-life balance is a person’s control over the conditions in theirworkplace when dually satisfied about the personal life and paidoccupation.Using the term “Work-Life” suggests that there is an easy divide betweenwork and life, but that does not address issues of unpaid work, or howthat relates to family and individual life. Some individuals maintain astrong division between their paid job and everything else they do; othersenjoy their work and feel so fulfilled by it that it can take up most of theirwaking hours.“Balance” is an implicit suggestion of an ideal goal of equivalence. is itthe same for everyone, or are we all doing it differently? If a personspends most of their time working at an enjoyable activity, does thatmean they have failed to achieve a whole and fulfilling life? Some spendthe minimum of time at their job so that they can spend the rest of theirtime pursuing a hobby, which again may not lead to a “balanced life”.Lots of definitions about family and WLBWork Family Conflict,Work Family integration ECLO Conference 2009 5
  6. 6. Policy Implications USA historical perspective Common Market / EEC / EU Policy UK Policy ECLO Conference 2009 6
  7. 7. Policy Focus Is this just a gender issue? Supporting families? Getting more women into work Getting more work out of workers? Protection against claims for work place stress “Flexicurity” 7
  8. 8. Life Phases  Young People  Mid – Career  Older Workers  Post RetirementWhere flexible working exists, men often report a greater benefit.Regardless of family commitments, individuals frequently complainof the increased pressures of work, and of having to be seen todemonstrate loyalty to the organisation through working excessivelylong hours. 8
  9. 9. BUT: presentism: to being seen to be at work for lengthy periods inorder to demonstrate commitment to the employer.. The value that theorganisation sets on mobile and home working indicates the extent thatpresentism attitudes are present.” This does not lead to greater efficiencyor effectiveness. European countries have shorter hours but higherproductivity, Swiss employers believe that people who regularly worklonger hours are actually demonstrating that they are inefficient(Langham 2003).Working long hours is due to FEARPart time? Maybe, what are people doing in the other part? Another(unpaid) job, like keeping house?Public sector has much greater reported stress levelsRural life may not be the idyll that people imagine. City dwellers – liveclose to work + isolatedYoung people pressured to take “gendered jobs”. younger workers weremore insistent upon flexible working and not being exploited at theexpense of their family and social lifeOlder workers may not be able to afford to retire when they want. 9
  10. 10. Young People Career choice may influence work life balance later in life Career choice may be gendered Young people expect better work life balance than their parents ECLO Conference 2009 10
  11. 11. Mid – career Does work interfere with life? Or does life interfere with work? “Middlescence” The loneliness of achievement ECLO Conference 2009 11
  12. 12. Employers seek a win-win solution to get a happy and productiveworkforceMenUnder pressure to work long hoursWork is so much more complex now.But, benefit from family friendly policies.Women2 jobs, one paid, the other unpaid care for children and elderly parents –what real choices do they have?Flexible and part time working can harm career prospects – nodemonstration of commitment to the job.BUT: presentism: ECLO Conference 2009 12
  13. 13. Well being at or shortly after retirement may have little to do with age,being more affected by whether the individual is able to exercise controlover when and how they retire (Calvo 2009).Conventional wisdom seems to suggest that gradual retirement will leadto a happier life, with employers seemingly willing in somecircumstances to allow a flexible job design for older workers to easethem out of the job gently while harvesting their accumulated knowledgeand wisdom (Yeandle 2006).Calvo et al (2009) found to their surprise that sudden retirement actuallycreated a more fulfilling retirement than a gradual reduction in hours orresponsibilities.However they did acknowledge that it may be that simply having adecision to make, rather than having retirement thrust upon them, thatwill enable the individual to enjoy their retirement years (Calvo 2009). ECLO Conference 2009 13
  14. 14. Older Workers A problem to managed or an asset to be valued? “The Final Five” Leaving a Legacy Easing gently or cold turkey? ECLO Conference 2009 14
  15. 15. Post Retirement Can you afford to retire when you want to? Balance between life and ? ? Access to services ECLO Conference 2009 15
  16. 16. Employers’ responses Legal minimum Flexible working practices Work life balance for all ECLO Conference 2009 16
  17. 17. Part time Job share Term time only RemoteworkingConsolidated hours Variable hours Self-managedworkingRecent research by the Equality and Human RightsCommission (2009) found“.. a strong case for re-configuring maternity, paternity andparental leave and extending flexible working. Thesemeasures would respond to high demand from parents andthe wider working population, achieve greater equality,fairness and choice, improve the quality of life and ofchildhood, and provide benefits for employers and theeconomy.” If their choices are still dictated by old fashionedviews of who should work and who should care for childrenand the home, or by business owners who will not offer trulyflexible working conditions, or by inequalities in maternityand paternity leave arrangements, then men are beingprevented from taking their preferred share in parenting andwomen are being prevented from reaching their potential inthe workplace (EHRC 2009). ECLO Conference 2009 17
  18. 18. Asda offer a wide range of Work/Life balance options, including:IVF leave (five days paid leave to women undergoing IVFtreatment, and 1.5 days for partners);Benidorm leave - up to three months unpaid leave betweenJanuary and March while maintaining a continuous work history(in addition to paid annual leave);Grandparent leave - five days unpaid leave on the birth of agrandchild;Sabbatical leave - up to two years unpaid leave while remaining amember of staff and with a guaranteed job on return;Employees can also take holiday for a wide range of reasons,including Grandparent Leave, Carers Leave, Study Leave,Religious Festival Leave and Yellow Ribbon Leave – a paid day’sleave to staff with relatives returning from military service in Iraq.Not only do flexible hours mean we can attract a wider range ofemployees, but it also means that staff are more committed to theirjobs, which reduces absenteeism and improves morale andretention.” ( ECLO Conference 2009 18