Work-Life Balance

Gifford J | Opinion Paper OP13 | Institute for Employment Studies | Nov 2007

This opinion paper draws on IES research to explore how employers manage work-life initiatives.

  • What are employers offering? Flexibilities include career breaks, extended maternity and paternity leave, adoption leave, paid dependency leave, compressed weeks, job share, and leave for community and volunteer work.
  • Who works long hours? Long working hours are more common among men, and most common for managers, professionals, and operative and assembly workers.
  • What are the challenges? Problems arise when co-workers feel 'left at work to carry the can' and managers lack the support to implement an improved work-life balance.

Finally, the paper outlines the business benefits from progressive work-life policies.