NewsRoundup

The Roundup will be brought to you in July and August by the new Work and Family Researchers Network (WFRN), an international membership organization for interdisciplinary work and family academics. The WFRN welcomes the participation of policy makers and practitioners as it seeks to promote knowledge and understanding of work and family issues among the community of global stakeholders. The Roundup is a compilation of the latest news articles, reports and other materials related to workplace flexibility delivered to your inbox on Monday and Thursday. In the fall, the WFRN will launch its new website which will include a News Feed among other features. We hope that you will get involved as a member and by posting the latest news. Questions?

November 23, 2010

Articles

Inquirer Editorial: Equal-pay gap

Author Unlisted • Philadelphia Inquirer • November 22, 2010

“What better incentive to force employers to treat women fairly than the threat of a costly lawsuit? Currently, women make 77 cents for every $1 made by men. It takes them 16 months to earn what men make in 12 months.  Women now make up about half of the U.S. workforce. Many are the sole breadwinners in their households. They need the legal tools to get a fair paycheck.”

Boost the bottom line: Investment in people

Joan Blades • USA Today • November 21, 2010

“A growing body of evidence is revealing that companies that pay fair wages, and offer flexibility and training to even entry-level and lower-skilled employees, do better than those that don’t. A vast number of businesses mistakenly assume that their lowest-wage workers are easily replaced or not worth investing in, but those that do the right thing soon find that they’re doing the right thing for their bottom lines. It’s time that this becomes a business norm.”

When Home Is Where the Office Is

Sarah E. Needleman • Wall Street Journal • November 21, 2010

“Home is where the office is for more than half of U.S. entrepreneurs, according to the Small Business Administration. The arrangement is particularly popular among those just starting out since leasing a commercial space, outfitting it with furniture and keeping it clean can be costly.  Still, starting a business from home isn’t ideal—or even possible—for every entrepreneur.”

Nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work decrease in 2009

Author Unlisted • Bureau of Labor Statistics - The Editor's Desk • November 18, 2010

“In private industry, the number of injuries and illness cases involving days away from work decreased 11 percent to 964,990 cases—a decline from 1,078,140 in 2008. This is the first time the number of cases has been below 1 million since data have been collected.”

Blogs

What Your Boss Wants You to Know About Flextime

Joanne Cleaver • BNET - Leadership - Women Drivers • November 22, 2010

“Employees love the idea of flexwork, but they’re not always on board with the gritty details. If you’re trying to cajole your boss onto the flexwork bandwagon, here are three things Kossek says you need to know.”

Bipartisan Policy Center Debt Plan Shifts Benefits to Childless Workers

Elaine Maag • Tax Policy Center - TaxVox • November 22, 2010

“By Tax Policy Center estimates, members of this group would pay an average of $5 more in 2022—relative to current policy assuming the Making Work Pay credit and lower refundability thresholds for the CTC had already ended. Families with children would pay higher taxes, but the BPC proposal creates a substantial work incentive for families without children – something many policy analysts have long been calling for.”

Raise Retirement Age and More Become Disabled

Merrill Goozner • Fiscal Times - GoozNews • November 20, 2010

“Most people are working and living longer, so it seems like a no-brainer to raise the retirement age to help close the long-term Social Security funding gap. But the move could backfire and not save as much as predicted. Why? Not all groups are able to work longer, a new report from the Government Accountability Office says.”

10 Ways You Can Make Work Fit With Life and Family

Rex Flexibility • Huffington Post • November 19, 2010

“We juggle more responsibilities today than ever before. Work. School. Childcare. Elder care. Volunteerism. The list goes on. There is simply not enough time in the day for everything we’re expected to do. Unfortunately, scientists still haven’t figured out how to add more hours to the day. But we do have another kind of innovation: many companies have come up with creative ways for employees to balance their lives and still be successful at their jobs. Here are ten of my favorite ideas.”

Days after being stay-at-home dad, St. Pierre starts for Carolina

Chris Chase • Yahoo Sports • November 19, 2010

“One week ago, the most pressing issue for stay-at-home dad Brian St. Pierre, might have been making sure there were enough diapers around the house for his 18-month-old son. On Sunday, the 30-year-old journeyman quarterback will have a bigger problem to contend with: [. . .] the Baltimore Ravens defense.”

Judge Kimba Wood, Standing Up for Women

Jeffrey Goldberg • Atlantic - Nation • November 19, 2010

“This is incredibly charming and progressive on Kimba Wood’s part (and real; we checked)…”

Global News

Cut staff stress to improve output

Anthony Wong • Australian • November 23, 2010

“WORK life can be stressful. Project challenges, managing people and expectations, meeting targets and financial concerns can all add stress to our lives, even to the point of making us sick.  According to research by Medibank Private, workplace stress costs the Australian economy $14.8 billion each year in absenteeism and lost productivity, The Australian reports.”

Lost labour

Suzanne Horne • Lawyer • November 22, 2010

“On 30 September the Government announced, among other things, that it would launch a consultation later in the year looking at the design of a new system of flexible parental leave. [. . .] So what is the impact of the additional paternity legislation? There will be the inevitable direct costs: the employer can only recover 92 per cent of the cost of the APP through HM Revenue & Customs, thus bearing the differential; and there will be costs involved in implementing and administering the legislation on an ongoing basis.  But there are also indirect costs, such as the cost of obtaining absence cover.”

Employers line up to cut the cord on baby leave

Rachel Browne and Jessica Wright • Sydney Morning Herald, Australia • November 21, 2010

“COMPANIES are considering scaling back parental leave payments in light of the federal government’s paid parental leave scheme which comes into effect on January 1.  Employer groups say the matter is being debated as companies come to grips with the new scheme, which provides 18 weeks’ pay at the minimum wage of $570 a week.  Unions fear that companies will reduce their voluntary payments to employees, but make up the difference with the government funds.”