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Why might employers have an intrest in the work - life balance of their staff What is the evidance to suggest that they are tak - Assignment Example

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Work-life balance (WLB) has seen increasing interest from policymakers, organisations, and the academe for the past decade, especially as the United Kingdom and other developed countries developed its legal framework (Bardoel and De Cieri 2009) and as international organisations provided support for the importance of WLB to the quality of life and work of employees (Carmichael et al. 2008). …
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Download file to see previous pages 2008). Carmichael et al. (2008) note, however, that WLB continues to be missing or weak for several sectors, such as the informal carer sector. But are employers truly interested in the work-life balance of their employees? This paper aims to answer this question through reviewing literature. It is found out that more employers apply WLB through flexible work, because of political, economic, and social factors, although substantive effects for gender equality are not yet met. More employers are developing work-life initiatives, because of international organisations’ directives. Within the European Union, WLB initiatives centralise in the ‘reconciliation of work and family’ that impact EU and nation-state level, such as the EU directives on parental leave and part-time work and the EU Council of Ministers’ declaration of 29 June 2000, which stresses the growth of paternity leave (Gregory and Milner 2009: 122). Furthermore, the EU has emphasised gender equality (particularly through its Framework Strategy for Gender Equality and through the creation of ‘gender mainstreaming’ in policy design and evaluation) has also significantly involved different stakeholders and influenced national legislation and collective agreements that are related to WLB (Gregory and Milner 2009: 122). For instance, because of the EU, trade union involvement in the carrying out of WLB policies has changed from “hard law to soft law” and to a greater implementation of these policies (Gregory and Milner 2009: 122). Hence, international laws and organisations have a huge impact on compelling employers to advance WLB efforts in the workplace. Flexible work is one of the predominant practices of WLB. In a comparative study, Ollier-Malaterre (2009) states: “As many as 70% of American and 67% of British employers state that flexible hours are available for employees...” (164). This article shows that depending on the culture, laws, and human resources (HR) frameworks and practices, many employers in the UK improve work-life balance through flexible work time. In the UK, traditional spheres that divide work and personal lives continue to exist, although recently, the Labour government played a larger role in promoting WLB among employers (Ollier-Malaterre 2009: 167). National laws and changing cultural views on WLB contribute to more employers seeing the importance of WLB to their employees and manifesting that through providing the option for flexible work. Maruyama, Hopkinson, and James, (2009) conducted a multivariate analysis of work–life balance effects of a telework programme. Findings showed that time flexibility variables are important and had positive effects to work and family matters. Industrial relations and unions’ viewpoint toward work-life practices can affect the application of WLB among employers. British and American unions have progressively become implicated in work-life (Ollier-Malaterre 2009: 168). Trade unions have become more involved in the introduction and execution of WLB measures, which indicate an evolution of their role from managing wage and wage-related bargaining towards providing information and application of WLB policies (Gregory and Milner 2009: 127). It also shows modernisation efforts through WLB development in the public sector and a supplementary “modernisation of modes of action, with a shift from distributive to integrative bargaining” (Cressey 2002). Integrative bargain ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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