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The use of family friendly workplace practices in Canada

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Ferrer, Ana & Gagné, Lynda
Publication Date: 
21 Sep 2006

Excerpts from the press release:

Ana Ferrer (University of Calgary) and Lynda Gagné (University of Victoria) investigate the factors that influence the use of work-family benefits, in particular whether they are available to those who need them most.
A strong message emerges from this research: firms need to re-examine what benefits they are offering and who the target for these benefits is.

- Ferrer and Gagné find the use of benefits is not as widespread as the extent of the family work conflict would suggest.

- Women or families with dependants do not use family friendly benefits more than other groups.

- Ferrer and Gagné's investigation also reveals that part-time workers make more use of flexible hours than full-time employees.

- Women clearly value the opportunity to work from home. The investigation reveals that females are over-represented in firms that offer this benefit. Firms interested in helping female workers with work-life balance issues may consider offering telework as an alternative to office work.

Ferrer and Gagné contend that although firms need to take another look at what benefits they offer and to whom, governments still have a role to play in providing solutions to work-life conflicts. Public policy can assist through a variety of programs, including funding extended parental leave and providing affordable child care arrangements.