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 28, 2011

Articles

Leaping back to work

Joanna Weiss • Boston Globe • June 28, 2011

“Plenty of people lament the dearth of high-powered women in corporate America. And plenty of people agree that a major factor is self-selection: Women take themselves off the executive track as soon as they have kids.  The truth is, many of these women want to return to work — when their kids reach school age, or when life circumstances change. But breaking back into the corporate ranks is tough, especially in a bad economy.”

SHRM Survey: Cuts in Benefits Causing Headaches for HR

Rita Pyrillis • Workforce Management • June 27, 2011

“Workplace flexibility benefits, which increased in 2011, are on an upswing. More than half of HR professionals surveyed said their companies offer flex time, up 5 percent from the previous year. Twenty percent offer full-time telecommuting, up from 17 percent in 2010.”

“The majority of Americans expect to stay connected to their office during their summer vacation, whether it’s checking or responding to e-mails, taking work with them, or attending meetings.  […] Not only is work eating into Americans’ vacation time, achieving daily work-life balance appears to be eroding. Nearly six out of 10 respondents (58%) say they take work home more than three times a week.”

Bias complaint sends firm on long road to court

Guy Boulton • Journal Sentinel • June 26, 2011

“This much is not in dispute: Charles Sisson fired Roxy Leger on Oct. 30, 2008 - two days after she had a baby.  He says he fired her for failing to do a key bookkeeping task for several months. She says she was fired for taking maternity leave.  Only the two of them know for sure which version is closest to the truth.”

Job Jugglers, on the Tightrope

Hannah Seligson • New York Times • June 25, 2011

“Some of these workers are patching together jobs out of choice. They may find full-time office work unfulfilling and are testing to see whether they can be their own boss. Certainly, the Internet has made working from home and trying out new businesses easier than ever.  But in many cases, necessity is driving the trend.”

Work at home and in the workplace, 2010

• Bureau of Labor Statistics • June 24, 2011

“In 2010, on the days that they worked, 24 percent of employed persons did some or all of their work at home, and 83 percent did some or all of their work at their workplace. Men and women were about equally likely to do some or all of their work at home in 2010—22.9 percent of employed men compared with 24.5 percent of employed women.”

Blogs

What Do Working Moms Want? What Everyone Else Does

Laura Vanderkam • BNET - 168 Hours • June 28, 2011

“The researchers from Baylor University followed 179 new moms who worked full-time. They found that the factors most associated with sticking out those rough first months included flexible schedules and job security. The flexible schedules enabled moms to deal with rough patches like childcare woes, doctor visits or even a bad night without calling it quits. They could still put in the hours, but not necessarily certain hours that someone else dictated.”

Can Retail, Call Center, And Housekeeping Staff Have Work-Life Flexibility

Cali Williams Yost • Fast Company - Expert Blog • June 27, 2011

“Over the past five years, new research shows that we’ve all much more comfortable with the concept of work+life flexibility. We no longer expect lawyers, managers or web designers to always show up to an office, 9-to-5, Monday through Friday. But what about retail sales associates, call center workers, or housekeeping staff in hotels?  Can low-wage hourly workers access the same work flexibility to manage their lives both on and off the job?  According to two recent reports, the answer is ‘yes, but ... ‘”

Paid Sick Leave in Seattle

Nick Licata • MomsRising Blog • June 27, 2011

“With 78% of accommodation and food service workers, about half of retail workers, and one fourth of health care workers not earning paid sick days, chances are they are going to work sick.  In fact, in King County, from 2006 to 2010 approximately 30% of recent food borne illness outbreaks (almost all due to norovirus) was linked to food handlers who worked while sick.  Given these statistics, as a member of the Seattle/King County Health Board, I felt that it was important to make Seattle a healthier city for our citizens.”

Paternity Leave is the New Maternity Leave

Alexandra Levit • QuickBase Blog • June 27, 2011

“Paternity leave is the time a father takes off work at the birth or adoption of a child, and when I first started working 13 years ago, no men I knew took it.  Fortunately, a lot has changed.  These days, more and more new dads are taking advantage of paternity leave, which is typically unpaid although some companies offer fathers paid time off ranging from a few days to a few weeks.”

Global News

Working Women Are the Key to Norway’s Prosperity

Katrin Benhold • New York Times • June 28, 2011

“All told, family policy, including a system of child care from a guaranteed place for 1-year-olds to after-school and vacation care, costs the Norwegian government 2.8 percent of gross domestic product. ‘These policies are expensive, but their cost is offset by the return in terms of female labor supply and tax revenues,’ says Danielle Venn, a labor economist at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Even excluding oil, Oslo’s deficit of 5.4 percent of G.D.P. is a percentage point below the E.U. average.”