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?
August 1, 2011
“Since the recession, U.S. workers focused on keeping their jobs, but this summer there is a shift toward family, a survey indicates. The survey, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of Adecco Staffing US, a workforce solutions provider, indicates the desire for time and work flexibility this summer cuts across gender lines.”
“The large majority of employed American caregivers—people who work at least 15 hours per week and help care for an aging family member, relative, or friend—are looking after an elderly parent. Specifically, 72% say they provide care to a parent and separately 67% say the person is 75 years of age or older.”
“Women have been brutally hit when it comes to a category called ‘office and administrative support occupations,’ i.e. those who make workplaces run smoothly. In this occupation, which represents over 17 million workers, women have lost a total of 925,000 jobs while men have gained 204,000 since the recession ended.”
“After three years of legal and political wrangling over the Milwaukee paid sick-day law that voters approved but business groups denounced, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Cooper declared Thursday afternoon: ‘It’s over.’ In doing so he found the city law, passed by 69% of voters in November 2008 and upheld by the state Court of Appeals in March, was moot because of state legislation approved in April that voided it.”
“The national unemployment rate is above 9 percent. But it’s much higher for military spouses.
‘We have a high unemployment rate,’ says Robert Gordon, head of Military Community and Family Policy at the Pentagon. ‘At the end of the day, it’s a 26 percent unemployment rate; 80 to 85 percent of our spouses want to work. And there are some spouses who are working and want other sorts of jobs.’ That 26 percent rate comes from a Defense Department survey conducted late last year. It includes both spouses who are looking for work and those who want to work but have given up the search.”
“The Institute for Women’s Policy Research just issued a study finding that access to paid sick days in Denver varies widely based on ethnicity and race. Only 33 percent of White women and 35 percent of White men have jobs that do not provide sick leave while Latinos and African Americans lag far behind—64% of Hispanic men, 50% of Hispanic women, 46% of African-American men and 44% of African-American women receive no paid sick leave at their workplace.”
“It is no secret that maternity leave durations in the US are much shorter than others around the world. In the US, the average mother is permitted just six weeks of time off and, because most often the time off is unpaid, many moms can’t afford to take any leave at all. Compare this to the subsidized 4 years both moms and dads can enjoy in the Czech Republic and the 16 months both parents are entitled to in Sweden.”
“With technology improving each year and some 30 million or so American workers expressing a desire to work from outside the office, there’s good reason for optimism about the future of web work. But not everyone thinks the sky’s the limit when it comes to offering more and more workers the opportunity to work virtually.”
“On the other hand, psychologists say that shorter trips may actually bring us more happiness than longer getaways, according to a recent New York Times piece. One reason is that anticipating and planning a trip brings many people more pleasure than the vacation itself, studies have shown, so taking multiple short trips may offer more chances to feel the thrill of anticipation.”
“SUPERWOMAN is dead and quite possibly buried under a mountain of unwashed laundry and empty takeaway food containers. Women have accepted that there is only so much time in the day and deprioritised the dirty dishes, says Professor Barbara Pocock, director of the Centre for Work + Life at the University of South Australia. As an increasing number of Australian women have entered the workforce, they are doing less housework, although the growth in cleaning services has not undergone a corresponding expansion.”