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?

April 29, 2011


Unemployed older workers struggle harder to find new jobs

Pat Schneider • Capital Times • April 27, 2011

“The implications of having older people out of work for long stretches are an increasing focus for public policy analysts. Delaying retirement has been seen as the surest route to financial security in old age, because it allows workers to boost savings and Social Security payments and to shrink the number of years retirement savings must fund, Urban Institute researchers say. But that strategy depends on older workers being able to find employment. And their current difficulty in doing so calls into question the prescription of raising the retirement age to preserve Social Security.”

1 in 4 children in US raised by a single parent

Christine Armario • Associated Press • April 27, 2011

“Of the 27 industrialized countries studied by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. had 25.8 percent of children being raised by a single parent, compared with an average of 14.9 percent across the other countries. […] Experts point to a variety of factors to explain the high U.S. figure, including a cultural shift toward greater acceptance of single-parent child rearing. The U.S. also lacks policies to help support families, including childcare at work and national paid maternity leave, which are commonplace in other countries.”

In a first, women surpass men in advanced degrees

Hope Yen • Associated Press • April 26, 2011

“For the first time, American women have passed men in gaining advanced college degrees as well as bachelor’s degrees, part of a trend that is helping redefine who goes off to work and who stays home with the kids.  Census figures released Tuesday highlight the latest education milestone for women, who began to exceed men in college enrollment in the early 1980s. The findings come amid record shares of women in the workplace and a steady decline in stay-at-home mothers.”

2011 Top Ten Family Friendly Firms

• Yale Law School - Yale Law Women •

“In its sixth annual survey of the Vault Top 100 Firms, YLW found that many firms have already embraced more flexible career paths and found new and creative ways to support employees who have families. Thirty-six percent of firms who responded to our survey offer formal ‘off-ramp/on-ramp programs,’ which allow attorneys to re-enter their firms after taking a number of years to spend with their families and or to explore other legal pursuits.  This represents a substantial increase from last year’s survey.”

Related:  Key Statistics:


Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

Hillary Alley • White House Blog • April 28, 2011

“The Executive Office of the President celebrated by encouraging staff to bring their children to work with them at the White House. Over 150 children took part in a program designed to encourage young people to explore the different paths they can take to create their own future. The theme for this year’s event was Invent Your Future: A Day at the White House for Tomorrow’s Leaders.”

16 Amazing Fact on the Middle Class Squeeze

Michael Snyder • Atlantic - Business • April 28, 2011

“The figures below measure both the impact of the recession and the aftermath. For example, not only did household wealth decline 25% during the recession, but also foreclosures and bankruptcies have continued to steamroll average families even as the economy has grown for more than a year. […]The average American family is under more economic stress right now than at any other time since the Great Depression. Here are 16 statistics that explain how and why.”

Telling the real story on social security

Caroline Dobuzinskis • Custom-Fit Workplace Blog • April 27, 2011

“While the benefits of Social Security are especially important to women because of their lower lifetime earnings and longer lives, men are becoming increasingly reliant due to shifts in retirement saving patterns and the recent severe recession. Many children, whose parents have died or become disabled, rely on Social Security insurance benefits, as do disabled children, including the adult disabled children, of working parents or grandparents who worked.”

Council Will Consider Citywide Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

Erica C. Barnett • Publicola • April 25, 2011

“City council members will consider legislation that would mandate paid sick leave for all employees in Seattle; if the bill, which will be introduced later this spring by city council member Nick Licata, passes, Seattle will join just three other cities—Milwaukee, Washington, D.C., and San Fransisco—in requiring private employers to provide paid sick days. […]Employees could use their sick time to recover from illness, to care for family members, to seek services related to domestic violence or stalking, or to stay home during a public health emergency (like swine flu).”

Global News

U.K. offices find pros, cons to holiday week

Javier Espinoza and Joe Light • Wall Street Journal • April 29, 2011

“By some accounts, work in the United Kingdom this week ground to a halt as thousands of employees bridged two four-day weekends to create extended vacations.  Employees who did work through the week say they faced fewer distractions but were hampered by the lack of staff and colleagues needed to get work done Instead, they’re catching up on projects, organizing offices and using the time to plan ahead for the next business cycle.”

Reclaim your life

Leon Gettler • Sydney Morning Herald - Management Line • April 29, 2011

“Gaining approval to telecommute, job share or manage your own schedule can offer huge benefits to staff, and as companies move to cut costs and stay as nimble as possible many workplaces are finally agreeing to more flexible schedules.  But while it solves some problems, it can also cause some for employers. The boss wants face time and many employers aren’t convinced that people will be productive when they’re away from the office.”

Lack of jobs for women costs Asia billions yearly: report

Elaine Lies • Reuters • April 28, 2011

“Poorly employed Asian women pose both old and new challenges to the world’s fastest growing region, with nearly half of them without jobs and struggling with perennial issues of lower wages and fewer chances for education.  But now, their lack of job opportunities is also costing billions of dollars a year in Asia, a report said on Friday.”