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?

January 28, 2011


Feeling buried

Katie Johnston Chase • Boston Globe • January 28, 2011

“With some Boston-area schools closed four days already this month due to snow, working couples have been scrambling to make arrangements for their children. […] In three quarters of married couples with children under the age of 15, both parents work, said Bradley Harrington, executive director at Boston College’s Center for Work & Family. And dealing with child care at the last minute can overwhelm already overscheduled lives.”

Requests for unemployment benefits up due to snow

• Associated Press • January 27, 2011

“Applications surged last week by a seasonally adjusted 51,000 to 454,000, the highest level since late October, the Labor Department said Thursday.  A government analyst said that a major reason for the spike was the harsh weather in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. That forced many companies to shut down temporarily and also prevented many people from applying for benefits in the previous week.”

Recent grads finding jobs – in their living rooms

Jessica Dickler • • January 26, 2011

“Each morning 26-year old Octavia Silva gets up, showers, puts on her business clothes, does her make up, and then starts her workday as an administrative assistant—from a table in her living room. [. . .] She’s one of a growing number of young professionals choosing to work from home as telecommuting opportunities have jumped nearly 400% in the past three years, according to job-search site”

David Morris: The land of opportunity lost

David Morris • Star Tribune • January 26, 2011

“American workers earn about as much annually as do their counterparts in France and Germany and Denmark but work almost three months longer.  We’re the only advanced economy that does not guarantee at least some paid vacation. In fact, about a quarter of U.S. workers in the private sector receive no paid vacation at all.  We are one of only a handful of nations that does not guarantee paid sick leave. Almost half the private-sector workforce has no paid sick days.”

The End of the Mancession

Heather Boushey • Slate • January 25, 2011

“The past year has seen an upswing, although the gains have been too tepid to make a dent in the unemployment rate. Here, too, the trajectory has been different for men and women—but now it’s women who are the losers.”


99ers More Likely to Be Older, Married, Minority

Brenda Cronin • Wall Street Journal - Real Time Economics • January 27, 2011

“People who have been out of a job for well over a year are more likely to be older, married and a member of a minority group than other unemployed workers.  That’s according to a recent Congressional Research Service report on ‘very long term’ unemployed workers — those who have gone for more than 99 weeks without a job. The group, whose ranks surged during the most recent recession, totaled about 1.4 million in October.”

Snow and the Working Mom

KJ Dell'Antonia • Slate - XX Factor • January 27, 2011

“Across the entire Northeast region, thousands—no, tens of thousands, at least—of working women, faced last night with their 4,000th snow day at home with the kids so far this year, put their heads in their hands and sobbed. Is it always the mom, in every family, who stays home for the snow days, or does it just feel that way?”

Mixed Bag for Family Leave

Sue Shellenbarger • Wall Street Journal - The Juggle • January 26, 2011

“Six years ago, California enacted a pioneering family-leave law that provided eligible employees up to 55% of their usual pay for up to six weeks of leave, including bonding by either parent with a newborn, adopted or foster child or caring for ill family members.  A new study has examined the impact of the law on both families and employers and found the results mixed.”

Ebay CEO Donahoe bears his own work-life struggles

Patricia Sellers • Fortune - Postcards • January 26, 2011

“On Monday night in San Francisco, at eBay’s first-ever conference for its top women executives, he told 200 of them from 15 countries that he wants eBay ‘to be better than Amazon (AMZN), better than Google (GOOG), better than Visa (V).’ A powerful lineup of women at the top of eBay, he said, ‘should be a source of competitive advantage.’  I too spoke at eBay’s Women Summit [. . .] It went well, but it was Donahoe who really won this crowd by revealing his own struggle for balance and flexibility in his career.”

Why Millennials Need to Be Unrealistic About Their Work+Life Fit

Cali Williams Yost • Fast Company - Expert Blog • January 24, 2011

“I recently attended two conferences where researchers presented studies on the Millennial generation’s beliefs and expectations about how work will fit into their lives throughout their careers.  The conclusion of the research was not surprising: 20-somethings expect a great deal of flexibility. They expect flexibility in how, when and where they work while employed, but also they want to flexibly manage their careers.”

Global News

Paternity leave proposals could cost £30m a year

Louisa Peacock • Telegraph, UK • January 28, 2011

“The figure is based on the amount of extra paternity pay employers could be forced to fork out to match what they currently pay their female staff on maternity leave, as well as the sheer administrative costs of managing the scheme.  The proposals could come into effect in 2015 following a public consultation. Under the plans announced in a speech by the Deputy Prime Minister last week, women could transfer up to 10 months of their statutory year-long leave entitlement to men to encourage more fathers to care for their children and allow females to get back to work more quickly.”

Nice up north

Bagehot • Economist • January 27, 2011

“BRITAIN’S previous prime minister, Gordon Brown, was not always keen on meeting foreigners nor very good at hiding it. […] Thus the contrast was striking when David Cameron invited the prime ministers of eight Baltic and Nordic countries to a summit earlier this month. Sitting in his shirtsleeves and frowning with concentration, Mr Cameron spent hours quizzing Finns about female entrepreneurs […] or patiently nodding as the prime minister of Iceland (population 319,000) praised fathers who take three months of paternity leave.”