Work/Life Balance Policies in a Declining Economy: are they still win-win?

To be delivered by Professor Eileen Appelbaum

Professor, School of Management and Labor Relations, Director, Center for Women and Work, Rutgers University, USA

The Hawke Centre logoWednesday 12 August 2009

Bradley Forum, UniSA City West campus

Jointly presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, The Centre for Work + Life and School of Management

Written paper from Eileen Appelbaum (pdf format)

Audio transcript available here (mp3 format - 22 MB)

This lecture will examine US federal and state policies and initiatives to improve work/life balance. The US ranks close to the bottom among countries in access of workers to job protected unpaid and paid leave for child birth and bonding, to recover from an illness, or to care for a seriously ill family member. Many workers lose pay, and may even lose their jobs, when they take time off from work to care for a parent who has a stroke or a child who is gravely ill. Research shows, and workers know, that health outcomes are compromised when they can't take time off to care for themselves or their families. Less well known, however, are the costs imposed on businesses and on public health by this lack of paid time off for workers to care for themselves and their families. Improving work/life balance is the second of five goals of President Obama's White House Task Force on Working Families. Initiatives are underway in Congress and in several US states and cities to remedy this lack of access to paid leave.

This lecture will consider implications for working families and businesses, and the adjustments we might consider to encourage implementation now.

Eileen AppelbaumEileen Appelbaum
is Professor II (Distinguished Professor) in the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University where she directs the Center for Women and Work. She holds a concurrent appointment as Professor in the Manchester Business School and is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Dr Appelbaum's current research focuses on low-wage work in the US and Europe; on the direct care workforce in child care, elder care and health care; and on policies and practices that facilitate the work and family lives of workers. With Professor Ruth Milkman she is currently conducting a study of California's five year old paid family leave program.

Centre for Work + Life, UniSA   School of Management, UniSA

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