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?

June 17, 2011

Articles

City Council approves sick-leave bill, preserves DROP

Jeff Shields • Philadelphia Inquirer • June 17, 2011

“Council approved on final passage a bill to require businesses with five or more employees to provide paid sick days based on time with the company.  Under the proposal from Councilmen Darrell L. Clarke and William K. Greenlee, workers at companies with more than 10 employees would earn an hour of sick time for every 40 hours worked, up to seven paid days a year. Companies with more than four employees would be responsible for offering up to four sick days for employees.  Nutter is expected to veto it, an action that would require 12 Council votes to overturn.”

Many recent veterans unable to find work

Gregg Zoroya • USA Today • June 17, 2011

“The military paid $882 million in unemployment benefits last year, up from $450 million in fiscal 2008. The 2011 figures are trending even higher.  Veterans are having a particularly tough time finding jobs. The estimated jobless rate among male veterans ages 18-24 was more than 30% in May, compared with 18% among male civilians of the same age group, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  With some exceptions, troops honorably discharged are eligible for unemployment checks if actively looking for civilian work.”

A Tale of Two Fathers

Gretchen Livingston and Kim Parker • Pew Research Center • June 15, 2011

“The role of fathers in the modern American family is changing in important and countervailing ways. Fathers who live with their children have become more intensely involved in their lives, spending more time with them and taking part in a greater variety of activities. However, the share of fathers who are residing with their children has fallen significantly in the past half century.”

Dads under more pressure at work and at home

Anne Fisher • CNN - Fortune • June 15, 2011

“As dads and moms know firsthand—and most employers accept with some reluctance—kids’ needs are not always predictable in advance. Increasingly, fathers are making tough choices that their own fathers rarely faced. Being a parent ‘doesn’t happen on a set schedule,’ observes Debnam, adding that combining hands-on fatherhood with a career ‘takes creativity.’”

Working dads’ top priority is giving family love

Lauren Keiper • Reuters • June 15, 2011

“Dads have long been celebrated for their role as breadwinner in the family. Now the top priority of men with children under the age of 18 still living at home is the softer side of being a father—providing love and support.  More than half of all fathers surveyed said they would consider not working outside the home if the family was able to live comfortably on one salary, a surprising change in perception, said Brad Harrington, executive director of the center.”

How Much Do Parents Really Matter?

Kai Ryssdal and Stephen Dubner • Freakonomics Radio, Marketplace • June 14, 2011

“This data comes, in part, from economists, who are asking bold questions like what happens when we randomly assign children to families?  And why are college-educated mothers spending more time away from work, chauffering their kids around?  Today on Marketplace, the answers to these questions and a new approach to parenting, endorsed by Dubner’s co-author Steve Levitt.” 

Some lenders allegedly deny mortgages to women on maternity leave

Kenneth R. Harney • Los Angeles Times • June 12, 2011

“Much of the problem, Rowe-Finkbeiner said, arises from ‘outdated assumptions’ about working women who get pregnant and need to take leave. ‘The assumption is that women may not be returning to their jobs,’ she said, and therefore counting their income toward loan qualification would be risky for the lender. But today’s economic realities require most of them to resume their employment to help support the family and pay the bills, including the mortgage, she said.”

Blogs

“Beyond the Breadwinner provides new insight into professional fathers’ work-family stress and desire for workplace and public policies that allow them to play a greater role in family caregiving. ‘The report’s findings drive home that family-friendly workplace laws and policies are critical for all workers, as men and women alike struggle to meet the dual demands of work and home,’ said Dina Bakst, an author of the report and Co-President of A Better Balance.”

I Love You, Dad (but $35 Less Than Mom)

Annie Lowrey • Slate • June 16, 2011

“It was not capitalists, but pacifists who developed Mother’s Day in the 1870s. It became a nationally recognized holiday in 1914 and a major commercial affair shortly thereafter—much to its forebears’ chagrin. Father’s Day really took hold only in the 1910s, and was not formally recognized until the Nixon administration. Throughout its history, retailers—particularly men’s clothiers—have nudged consumers to give equal respect to Dad. But the spending gap did not really start to close until the 1980s. Over the next few years, the NRF expects total spending to continue to even out.”

The New Dad: 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Fathers

Rex Flexibility • Huffington Post • June 15, 2011

“The Boston College Center for Work and Family recently surveyed 1,000 working fathers employed at Fortune 500 companies, asking them where their desires, priorities and realities are when it comes to work and family.  Their study, The New Dad: Caring, Committed and Conflicted, reveals some facts about today’s dads that might surprise you.”

Some Flexibility Questions for Members of the National Guard and their Families

Marcy Karin • Sloan Work and Family Blog • June 15, 2011

“Companies exist that have been identified as having successful, profitable, and supportive flexibility programs – like USAA, Raytheon, the City of Mesa, and others featured during the Dialogue session – from which you can learn about how to overcome some of the challenges and appreciate the benefits of having a workforce that includes current and former members of the military and their families.  […] The changing needs of members of the National Guard as well as those of other service members, veterans, military families, and their employers are a critical component of the current conversation on workplace flexibility.”

Global News

“The prognosis for UK employees is gloomy, say experts. Few new jobs, even fewer pay increases and longer working hours. But what is the real picture of living and working in the UK in 2011? The Guardian, in conjunction with income protection provider Unum, commissioned pollster ICM to take a unique snapshot of the current situation, to see just what workers really think of their careers, money and sense of wellbeing.”

Employers work to minimize hockey hooky

Mark Hume • Globe and Mail • June 15, 2011

“Ian Cook, director of research and learning at the British Columbia Human Resources Management Association, said he expects the numbers of those who played hooky because of hockey to be low because a campaign has been under way for the past few weeks in which many employers embraced the spirit of the Canucks, introducing flexible work arrangements so people could get out early to watch games.”