Work-life balance in times of economic crisis and austerity

Gregory, A, Milner, S and Windebank, J 2013, 'Work-life balance in times of economic crisis and austerity' , International Journal of Sociology & Social Policy, 33 (9-10) , pp. 528-541.

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The purpose of this editorial is to provide an overview of the wider debates concerning the evolution of work-life balance practice and policy since the onset of the “Great Recession” of 2008 and to draw out some comparisons of the issues raised by the papers in the special issue by focusing particularly on the example of the UK. Design / methodology/approach: The editorial analyses how the direction and pace of changes in work-life balance practice and policy varies between different national contexts and welfare regimes and also asks whether, within the same national context, the changes taking place are always consistent. Findings: The special issue draws together an international overview of work-life balance measures which focuses particularly on measures for fathers, an EU-wide analysis of the use of flexible employment and its relationship with work-family conflict and a number of specific country case studies from Southern Europe where recession has been particularly severe (Spain and Italy) and the Southern hemisphere (Australia) where the recession has been less deep. It finds that economic crisis and austerity have resulted in a variety of labour market changes and policy responses in different national settings, some but not all of which map onto existing welfare regime typologies. The articles raise a wider set of questions about what type of policy best promotes employees’ work-life balance. The editorial argues in favour of legislative support for work-life balance to help address structural inequalities. Originality / value: This editorial and special edition is one of the first to review the small but growing literature on the effect of recession on individuals’ experience of work-life balance, organisations’ approach to work-life balance and reconciliation policy since 2008.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Sociology & Social Policy
Publisher: Emerald
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0144-333X
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Professor Abigail Gregory
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2015 11:17
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 23:14

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