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Voices of Canadians: Seeking work-life balance

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Duxbury, Linda & Higgins, Christopher
government document
Publication Date: 
1 Jan 2003

Excerpt from overview:

Health Canada commissioned Dr. Linda Duxbury and Dr. Christopher Higgins to conduct a national study on work-life balance. The National Study on Balancing Work, Family and Lifestyle was designed to examine issues associated with work-life conflict; identify Canadians at risk; and identify why key stakeholders, such as employers, employees, unions and government, should care about the impact work-life conflict has on Canadians and what steps can be taken to help them achieve a better balance between the demands of the job and responsibilities at home. A total of six reports for Health Canada will be produced from the results of this survey.

"Voices of Canadians: Seeking work-life balance" utilized written comments from the study. [It] is divided into six sections: an overview of the facts and figures; discussion of the methodology; and testimonial comments by employees divided into four sections. The testimonial comments begin with the challenges and problems Canadians face as they try to balance the demands of work and home; positive comments on work-life balance (what is working well for them); personal solutions to work-life conflict; and suggestions for business, individual managers and governments about how they can help employees by promoting work-life balance.

The bulk of comments centre around problems at the organizational level or how much work is expected and when, where and how this work is performed. The report concludes with a summary and set of recommendations by the authors.

[Note: The report recommends a national child care program as an essential issue:

"The lack of availability of affordable, quality childcare services is, for many workers, a critical work and family issue. We echo many others when we recommend that the Government of Canada, in conjunction with the provinces, develop and implement a national childcare program that addresses the needs of children of all ages (i.e. affordable, quality daycare, supervision for older children, before and after school care, extracurricular programs)."]