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Fathers and work-life balance in France and the UK: policy and practice

Gregory, A and Milner, S 2011, 'Fathers and work-life balance in France and the UK: policy and practice' , International Journal of Sociology & Social Policy, 31 (1/2) . (In Press)

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      Abstract

      Purpose – This paper focuses on the role of organizations in mediating the impact of national work-life balance (WLB) policy on employees, in particular fathers. Design/methodology/approach – It presents existing research about WLB policy implementation in organizations as well as the findings of empirical work in insurance and social work in France and the UK (questionnaire survey, case study analysis, interviews with national and sector-level trade union officials). Findings & Practical implications – These indicate that fathers’ take-up of WLB policies is the outcome of a complex dynamic between national fatherhood regimes, organizational and sector characteristics and the individual employee. They suggest that fathers tend to use WLB measures to spend time with their families where measures increase their sense of entitlement (state policies of paternity leave) or where measures offer non-gendered flexibility (reduced working time/organizational systems of flexi-time). In line with other studies it also finds that fathers extensively use informal flexibility where this is available (individual agency). These findings have implications for way WLB policies are framed at national and organizational level. Originality/value - Cross-national comparative research into WLB policy and practice at national and organizational level is very rare. The empirical work presented in this article, although exploratory, makes a significant contribution to our understanding of WLB policy and practice, particularly as it relates to fathers.

      Item Type: Article
      Uncontrolled Keywords: Britain, fathers, fatherhood regime, France, insurance, organizations, social work, WLB
      Themes: Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
      Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > HQ503 The family. Marriage. Home
      Subjects outside of the University Themes
      Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
      Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
      Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences > Centre for Social Research
      Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Sociology & Social Policy
      Publisher: Emerald
      Refereed: Yes
      ISSN: 0144-333X
      Depositing User: Professor Abigail Gregory
      Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2010 16:11
      Last Modified: 10 Jul 2014 13:10
      URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/10147

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