Work-family balance issues and work-leave policies

Rosalind B. King, Georgia Karuntzos, Lynne M. Casper, Phyllis Moen, Kelly D. Davis, Lisa Berkman, Mary Durham, Ellen Ernst Kossek

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

The contemporary US workforce differs dramatically from that of the mid-twentieth century, yet workplace structures and human resource policies and practices addressing work-family balance issues have changed relatively little. Moreover, technological, economic, and globalization forces are reducing job security, while simultaneously increasing productivity expectations and time pressures for those who retain their jobs (Kossek, Lewis, & Hammer, 2010). Employees are increasingly subjected to greater job demands and are asked to be available to work all hours of the day and all days of the week, often with neither schedule consistency (Kossek, 2006; Presser, 2003) nor schedule control (Kelly & Moen, 2007). With the majority of women in the paid workforce, relatively stable fertility levels, increases in single-parent families, and an aging population, many workers are confronted with the need to care for family members while coping with increased work demands. In the USA, few public and limited private sector policies enable workers to balance the dual needs of work and family. The resulting disconnect has increased work-family conflict (Nomaguchi, 2009), a type of inter-role conflict where work and family roles are incompatible (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985), resulting in reduced employee, family, and community health and well-being (Allen, Herst, Bruck, & Sutton, 2000; Bianchi, Casper, & King, 2005; Christensen & Schneider, 2010; Eby, Casper, Lockwood, Bordeaux, & Brinley, 2005; Kossek et al., 2010). Moreover, increased job insecurity, high unemployment, and declining wages for men, along with shifts in gender roles, have generated a steady increase in the proportion of wives and mothers engaged in paid market labor outside the home (Casper & Bianchi, 2002; Sayer, Cohen, & Casper, 2004). In most households with children, all adults are in the workforce, and dual-earner families must coordinate the schedules of two jobs along with responsibilities at home, with no member solely dedicated to family needs (Chesley & Moen, 2006; Jacobs & Gerson, 2004; Moen, 2003; Moen & Hernandez, 2009). To add even more complexity, in 2010, almost seven million Americans (ages 16 and older) were working two or more jobs (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011b). Role incompatibility is especially experienced by parents of children who are too young for elementary school, and by families with older relatives who need care (Casper & Bianchi; Moen & Chesley, 2008; Moen & Roehling, 2005).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Occupational Health and Wellness
PublisherSpringer US
Pages323-339
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781461448396
ISBN (Print)9781461448389
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

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