Trade unions and work-life balance: changing times in France and the UK?

Gregory, A and Milner, SE 2009, 'Trade unions and work-life balance: changing times in France and the UK?' , British Journal of Industrial Relations, 47 (1) , pp. 122-146.

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The mixed empirical findings to date have indicated that some, but not all, unions in industrialized countries are actively involved in campaigning and bargaining around work–life balance (WLB) issues, as part of a modernization agenda linked to feminization and to ‘positive flexibility’. This article seeks to identify factors that might encourage or inhibit trade unions from involvement in WLB issues, within a cross-national comparative perspective focusing on two countries (France and the UK) that have contrasting working time regimes and approaches to WLB. It draws on original research carried out in two sectors — insurance and social work — in these two countries. The article links the emergence of union WLB programmes and bargaining agendas to genderequality concerns within the union and to the gender composition of the sector, as well as to the working time regime, including the mode of action, partnership being a significant corollary of WLB campaigning in the UK. We find support for the modernization thesis in the UK, particularly in the public sector, but within severe constraints defined by employer initiative.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD4801 Labor. Work. Working class
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: British Journal of Industrial Relations
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 00071080
Depositing User: Professor Abigail Gregory
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2009 09:23
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2017 03:56
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