What Does Family-Friendly Really Mean? Wellbeing, Time, and the Quality of Parents' Job
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Broom, D H
National Institute of Labour Studies
We present a brief index of parent job quality, classifying jobs by four working conditions: paid parental leave, perceived security, control and fl exible work times. Jobs vary from optimal (with all conditions) to poor (none or one condition), and we describe differences in mothers' and fathers' job quality by education; work hours; and casual, fixed-term or permanent employment. Analyses are based on a large, nationally representative sample of parents with children aged 4-5 years (the Growing Up in Australia study; N=2,164 mothers; 2,614 fathers). Fathers were more likely to have higher quality jobs than mothers, but both had poorer quality jobs if employed casually or part-time. High-quality jobs were associated with better parent wellbeing, a finding replicated in a second, smaller study. Sustaining the wellbeing of working parents should be an aim of family friendliness. The index gives workplaces and government a way to benchmark and evaluate parents' jobs.
Strazdins, L., Shipley, M., Broom, D.H. 2007. What Does Family-Friendly Really Mean? Wellbeing, Time, and the Quality of Parents' Job. Australian Bulletin of Labour, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 202-225.