Fathers and work‐life balance in France and the UK: policy and practice

Abigail Gregory, Susan Milner
2011 International journal of sociology and social policy  
Gregory, A. and Milner, S. (2011) Fathers and work-life balance in France and the UK: policy and practice. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 31 (1-2). pp. 34-52. ISSN 0144-333X Link to official URL (if available): http://dx. Abstract Purpose -This paper focuses on the role of organizations in mediating the impact of national work-life balance (WLB) policy on employees, in particular fathers. Design/methodology/approach -It presents existing research about WLB policy
more » ... WLB policy implementation in organizations as well as the findings of empirical work in insurance and social work in France and the UK (questionnaire survey, case study analysis, interviews with national and sector-level trade union officials). Findings & Practical implications -These indicate that fathers' take-up of WLB policies is the outcome of a complex dynamic between national fatherhood regimes, organizational and sector characteristics and the individual employee. They suggest that fathers tend to use WLB measures to spend time with their families where measures increase their sense of entitlement (state policies of paternity leave) or where measures offer non-gendered flexibility (reduced working time/organizational systems of flexitime). In line with other studies it also finds that fathers extensively use informal flexibility where this is available (individual agency). These findings have implications for way WLB policies are framed at national and organizational level. Originality/value -Cross-national comparative research into WLB policy and practice at national and organizational level is very rare. The empirical work presented in this article, although exploratory, makes a significant contribution to our understanding of WLB policy and practice, particularly as it relates to fathers.
doi:10.1108/01443331111104797 fatcat:obpfupa7wvej7fnwxejcpxcfmy