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Human Resources - Essay Example

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The term work life balance has become quite popular over the last few decades. It is important to accomplish one’s goals at workplace and also meet the expectations of their families thereby leading a happy family life. A balance in both these spheres would imply progression in both the spheres of life (Felch, 2010, p…
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The term work life balance has become quite popular over the last few decades. It is important to accomplish one’s goals at workplace and also meet the expectations of their families thereby leading a happy family life. A balance in both these spheres would imply progression in both the spheres of life (Felch, 2010, p. 28). In the current era of complex and fast paced life, it is one of the concerns of the employers to support their employees “in creating a healthy and productive balance between their working and private life” (Hellmund, 2012). Work-life balance as defined by Clutterbuck is “a state where an individual manages real or potential conflict between different demands on his or her time and energy in a way that satisfies his and her needs for well-being and self-fulfilment” (Clutterbuck, 2003 p. 8). (LO3) Parental leave is an important issue for the employers to make policies for their employees. It is the employers’ responsibility to allow the employees to take leave from office so as to be able to care for their new-born babies. Most of the developed countries have the policy of paid parental leave. Sweden scores highest in this aspect with 60 weeks allotted for maternity leave and 8.5 weeks for paternity leave. The United States of America in spite of being one of the developed nations of the world that do not provide paid leaves to the new mothers, paternal leave to be left out of question. Under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 an employee employed for not less than 12 months in an organization in USA is entitled to take a leave of 12 weeks without pay without losing her job. For new fathers there are no federal paid leaves. According to a report by the Human Rights Watch, at least 178 countries provide paid leaves for new mothers, among which US is not included. In the United Kingdom parental leave was increased from three months to four months for both men and women. However several employers in the country fail to understand their obligations to pregnant ladies. Misunderstandings in this case might lead to employment tribunal claims which can be expensive to settle, not to mention the unwelcome possibility of negative publicity. This makes the reputation of the jobs in the tourism and hospitality industry not very warm. In China the paid maternity leave has been changed form 90 days to 98 days in compliance with the international standards with effect from 28th April 2012 (Liang, 2012). In Singapore the common notion is that while fathers are providers for the family, mothers should act as caregivers. The maternity leave in this country is a period of four months and there is no provision for paternity leave (Why no paternity leave in Singapore?, 2012). Per year the employees receive fourteen days of holidays. Sweden has the best reputation is this regard offering the parenting couples a leave of 13 months with 80 percent of their salaries being paid up to a specific limit (Black, 2012). The cost of this policy is shared by the employer and the government. Both the parents are entitled to take a minimum of two months leave form office in order to make the maximum utilization of the allotment of parental leave. Although none of the parents are forced to take leave, both of them must make use of a portion of the time. This helps eliminate gender inequality in the country and makes both the couples share the responsibilities of parenting. There is also work from facility available. Similar to Norway, cash-for-care program has also been imposed in Sweden. Various health care programs are conducted for maintaining proper balance between work load and family. (LO4) Employers owe certain responsibilities towards their employees on ethical grounds. The ethical implications of international human resource management can be seen in organizations that build good culture and trust in its work environment. A firm following the value based principles on show high performance and good growth in the long run. It encourages the parents “to remain attached to employment” (Heinrich & Scholz, 2009, p. 274) thereby promoting economic welfare in the long term. The ethical principles are rendered meaningless unless they can be put into effect and that serves the true interest of the society under any condition (Hosmer, 2007, p. 13). A good work environment increases employee flexibility and increases productivity due to decrease in unplanned absences (Cook, 2010, p. 11) and extended coverage of the interests of the employees. The option of transferring the leaves between the parents also optimizes the benefit accruing to the baby and the entire family. This leads to reduction of stress levels and better integration of their personal and professional lives (Fallon & Brabender, 2003, pp. 3-4). References 1) Black, D. (2012), Paid parental leave would give parents time with their kids without risking their jobs, available at: (accessed on January 12, 2013) 2) Clutterbuck, D. (2008). Managing Work-life Balance: A Guide for HR in Achieving Organisational and Individual Change. CIPD Publishing. 3) Cook, S. (2010). Coping with Unplanned Absences: A Pocket Guide. IT Governance Ltd. 4) Fallon, A. E. & Brabender, V. (2003). Awaiting the Therapist's Baby: A Guide for Expectant Parent-Practitioners. Psychology Press. 5) Felch, V. (2010). Work Life Balance - a Comparative Study of Women in Senior Management Positions in Austria, Denmark and Great Britain. GRIN Verlag. 6) Hellmund, M. (2012). Work-life balance: Why has it become so popular and what are its intercultural differences? GRIN Verlag. 7) Heinrich, C. J. & Scholz, J. K. (2009). Making the Work-Based Safety Net Work Better: Forward-Looking Policies to Help Low-Income Families. Russell Sage Foundation. 8) Hosmer, L. R. T. (2007), The Ethics of Management. McGraw-Hill. 9) Liang, L. (2012), China Raised Labor Protection Standard for Female Employees, available at: (accessed on January 12, 2013) 10) Why no paternity leave in Singapore? (2012), Singapore Business Review, available at: (accessed on January 12, 2013) Read More
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