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A family‐friendly policy for Hong Kong: lessons from three international experiences

Leung Lai‐ching (Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Chan Kam‐wah (Department of Applied Social Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 24 February 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the family‐friendly policies developed in Sweden, the UK and Singapore and discuss the implications on family‐friendly policies in Hong Kong.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on policy documents of the three countries, to examine the welfare model, the service provisions and the outcomes of the family‐friendly policies.

Findings

In the study, the paper finds that considerable differences exist among the three countries in their conception of the role and responsibility of government in the reconciliation of family and work conflict. Strategies ranging from a high degree of intervention to minimal intervention are closely related to the social welfare regime of a country. Learning from the international experiences, it is important to link work and family policies in developing family‐friendly policy in Hong Kong because work and family are not two separate worlds.

Originality/value

Numerous studies have documented the effectiveness and impact of family‐friendly policies in their own countries, but little has been done to compare the international experiences. The analysis contributes to offer a clear direction of developing family‐friendly policy in Hong Kong.

Keywords

Citation

Lai‐ching, L. and Kam‐wah, C. (2012), "A family‐friendly policy for Hong Kong: lessons from three international experiences", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 32 No. 1/2, pp. 82-95. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443331211201789

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited