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A hidden deterioration in equal pay achievements? The case of employee benefits during the Greek recession

Eleanna Galanaki (Department of Marketing and Communication, Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 20 March 2020

Issue publication date: 12 June 2020

Abstract

Purpose

Employee benefits, a critical element of total employee rewards, are important for both employers and employees. This study aims to explore the utility of employee benefits for male and female employees during the recent economic recession. In doing so, it intends to highlight an indirect deterioration of employment arrangements and equality in the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the findings of three repeated large-scale surveys during the Greek crisis (2012-2015, total N = 3,498).

Findings

Employees report that the availability of employee benefits has decreased during the recession and that women find more utility in them than men do. Additionally, women seem to be affected more than men by decreases in employee benefits allocation.

Research limitations/implications

The present findings support calls for contingent employee reward allocation.

Practical implications

Employers wishing to sustain their competitive advantage by fostering inclusion and diversity and/or employers with a high female employee ratio are encouraged to consider increasing their employee benefits portfolio.

Social implications

The recent economic crisis and the subsequent recession have brought about several potential negative effects, in terms of the employment conditions for women. Decreased employee benefits are a hidden negative effect of the recession for female employees and it presents multiple, potential and unforeseen consequences for gender diversity and inclusion.

Originality/value

To the best of the author’s knowledge, this is the first study to address non-monetary employee remuneration under the lens of gender pay differentials. It does so in a turbulent macro-economic setting.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The study was financed by a research funding grant from the Athens University of Economics and Business for junior academics.

Citation

Galanaki, E. (2020), "A hidden deterioration in equal pay achievements? The case of employee benefits during the Greek recession", Gender in Management, Vol. 35 No. 5, pp. 423-444. https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-09-2019-0150

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited