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Managing work‐family diversity for parents of disabled children – Beyond policy to practice and partnership

Suzan Lewis (Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Carolyn Kagan (Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Patricia Heaton (Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 1 June 2000



An area of diversity currently receiving attention is the large proportion of the workforce with commitments to care for a family. Many organisations have introduced “family friendly” policies including parental leave, childcare assistance and reduced hours of work. But this tends to focus on mothers of healthy, young children. The intense, long‐term needs of disabled children can severely stretch the provision organisations make for parents. This article presents an interview survey of parents with disabled children. It argues that, while many of the parents experience problems establishing a work‐home balance, these are partly caused by blocks within the wider community. Organisations can certainly reap benefits from making special arrangements for employees with disabled children but there are limits to corporate responsibility in relation to non‐work barriers. The article highlights the need for diversity initiatives to look beyond the workplace and incorporate aspects of the wider context in which organisations operate.



Lewis, S., Kagan, C. and Heaton, P. (2000), "Managing work‐family diversity for parents of disabled children – Beyond policy to practice and partnership", Personnel Review, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 417-430.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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