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?

September 17, 2010


Closing the wage gap: It’s a matter of survival for working families

Valerie Jarrett • Washington Post • September 16, 2010

“[. . .] President Obama applauds the work of the House of Representatives and strongly supports passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act in the Senate. [. . .] Under the act, while employees will still have to prove that discrimination has taken place, employers will be required to prove in court that any wage differences were based on factors other than sex—such as education, training or experience—and were consistent with business necessity.”

Poverty Rates Rose Sharply in 2009, Says Census Bureau

Erik Eckholm • New York Times • September 16, 2010

“As the country fights its way out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, four million additional Americans found themselves in poverty in 2009, with the total reaching 44 million, or one in seven residents. Millions more are getting by only because of a mix of expanded unemployment and other assistance and in a growing number of cases because families are doubling up, creating households with pooled incomes and lower expenses.”

Workforce Efficiency Lessons From ‘The Office’

Matthew Marciniak • Forbes • September 16, 2010

“More and more employees find themselves working harder and putting in longer hours just to keep up. Unfortunately, the 10 or 12 hours a day they spend at work today may produce the same results as the 8 hours they would put in under more stable circumstances. As a result, staffs are working more without getting ahead.”

Editorial: Family issues should be part of the discussion

Editorial • Oshkosh Northwestern, WI • September 14, 2010

“Families should find out where politicians stand on these issues; contact the incumbents, research the candidates. Some of the changes have bipartisan support and may see movement soon; the implications could be very real.  THE FINAL THOUGHT: Bills that help working families keep the jobs that help support them, or bills that stem a wave of flu from spreading office-wide, deserve a look by workers and employers.”

Working while sick? Study finds even doctors do it

Lindsey Tanner • Associated Press • September 14, 2010

“Junior doctors quickly learn that exposure to patients’ germs is part of the job, but a study suggests many are returning the favor. More than half of doctors in training said in a survey that they’d shown up sick to work, and almost one-third said they’d done it more than once.  Misplaced dedication and fear of letting other doctors down are among reasons the researchers cited as possible explanations.”


The Sustainable Side of Job Sharing

Ellen Beinreb • GreenBiz • September 16, 2010

“In this article, I explore and encourage job sharing as an option. Job sharing achieves positive outcomes and is consistent with sustainability. I believe job sharing should be offered by a company as one of the human resources-related social responsibility programs available.  As a sustainability recruiter, I am intrigued by the intersection of sustainability and human resources. Job sharing is one that makes a lot of sense but is rarely considered.”

Take This Job and Share It: How to Make Job-Sharing Work

Joanne Cleaver • BNET - Leadership • September 15, 2010

“In the spectrum of flexible work options, from flexible hours to telecommuting, job-sharing is one of the least used. As few as 2% of all workers have arranged to split the duties of a full-time job between two co-workers. Leave it to two engineers to crack the code.”

Job Tenures Lengthen as Newcomers Get Laid Off

Catherine Rampell • New York Times - Economix • September 15, 2010

“The median employee tenure was higher for men than for women, at 4.6 years versus 4.2 years, and was generally highest for older workers.  Median tenure was also highest for workers with master’s degrees, and lowest for those who did not have a high school diploma.  Among the major industries, median employee tenure was highest in the public sector, where the typical worker has been employed for 7.2 years.”

Blue Sky series: Heather Boushey’s plan

Ezra Klein, Heather Boushey • Washington Post - Ezra Klein • September 14, 2010

“The U.S. economy continues to have a significant output gap: Capacity utilization is at 75 percent—meaning that a full quarter of our machines are sitting idle—while 1 in 10 workers sits at home. We need to find a way to connect the workers who want to work with the idle machines, be those desktops or assembly lines. What we need is a continued injection of demand—demand for goods and services that will put businesses into motion to start investing and hiring again.”

Global News

China Holiday Schedule is Hard Work

Emma Ashburn • Wall Street Journal - China Real Time (Blog) • September 17, 2010

“Workers are off Wednesday through Friday, September 22 to 24, for the Mid-Autumn Festival. But they have to work Sunday, September 19 and Saturday, September 25 to make up two days from that holiday, since it’s only a one-day holiday under national law.”

Workplaces ‘unprepared’ for older workforces

Graham Snowdon • Guardian, UK • September 16, 2010

“In the report, entitled Managing an Ageing Workforce, 34% of managers claim that board-level recognition of ageing workforce issues is non-existent. It also reveals that 43% are not well-informed about their organisation’s retirement policies, and 40% have experienced age discrimination at some stage in their careers. This is despite latest estimates that a third of UK workers will be over 50 by 2020, and the government’s recently announced plans to abolish the default retirement age in 2011.”