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Keeping carers from the “precariat”: availability of carer-friendly workplace policies for employees with adult and elder care responsibilities in Quebec

Sarah Marie Nogues (School of Business Administration, TELUQ University, Montreal, Canada)
Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay (School of Business Administration, TELUQ University, Montreal, Canada)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 15 August 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

As employed carers tend to experience work interruptions and conflict between work and care, especially women, this paper aims to assess the availability and accessibility of carer-friendly workplace policies (CFWPs) in Quebec workplaces.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was distributed to members of the Association of Human Resources Management Counsellors in Quebec. The authors used a validating quantitative data design. The data was collected between October 2019 and the end of February 2020 and the questionnaire yielded 122 valid responses.

Findings

Adult/elder care responsibilities remain systematically perceived less important than childcare or general work-life balance needs. The current distribution of CFWPs within Quebec workplaces is unlikely to ensure carers sufficient support to prevent or significantly mitigate negative repercussions. Notable differences were found between organization type and size.

Practical implications

There is a need for expanding CFWPs through increased support services, educational workshops, broader access to flexible work arrangements and manager training.

Social implications

The results support recent research findings pointing that women with caring responsibilities face important opportunity costs and risk falling in precariousness. Carers should be able to maintain a social income from other sources to compensate a reduced activity on the labor market.

Originality/value

By investigating the availability of CFWPs in Quebec workplaces, this paper adds insights regarding the availability and access to CFWPs regionally and in small and medium size workplaces, rather than identifying best practice from workplaces across the globe. Workplace policies are analyzed for adult/elder care specifically.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors want to acknowledge financial support from the Carer-inclusive Partnership Grant Network on Gender, Health and Carer-Friendly Workplaces, supported by the Social Sciences Research Council of Canada: CIHR/SSHRC Healthy Productive Work Partnership Grant “Scaling up the Career Inclusive Accommodating Organizations Standard” FRN: HWP-146001 (CIHR); 890-2016-3018 (SSHRC). The authors also want to acknowledge support from the Québec professional HR association (OCRHA) in reaching managers on this issue.

Citation

Nogues, S.M. and Tremblay, D.-G. (2022), "Keeping carers from the “precariat”: availability of carer-friendly workplace policies for employees with adult and elder care responsibilities in Quebec", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-12-2021-0308

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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