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Article
Publication date: 28 March 2008

Rowena Barrett and Susan Mayson

The purpose of this paper is to examine the management of maternity leave in small firms and particularly to explore the perceived costs and benefits of paid maternity

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the management of maternity leave in small firms and particularly to explore the perceived costs and benefits of paid maternity leave (PML). PML is a universal right in some countries (i.e. the UK), but not in Australia where most private sector female employees only have access to 12 months unpaid maternity leave. It also aims to explore how the business case for (or against) PML is constructed in small firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was limited to smaller firms operating in the business services sector in the same regional area. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with eight employers and female employees in six of these firms. Analysis by theme was undertaken within and across interview transcripts.

Findings

Not one of these small firm employers offered PML and the cost of doing so was not considered to outweigh the benefits already realised through the (legislated) unpaid maternity leave scheme. In these firms maternity leave was managed in an informal way with notions of flexibility – give and take – characterising what happens.

Originality/value

The paper addresses the lack of research on access to family‐related leave policies in small firms. Employer and employee views of the issue are drawn upon, the latter not often being heard. The paper contributes to understanding the construction of the business case for a specific issue in smaller firms and human resource management from a resource‐based view more generally in smaller firms.

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Equal Opportunities International, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1985

J.R. Carby‐Hall

Modern employment legislation invests the employee with important rights resulting in a greater degree of job security and improved legal protection in his employment…

Abstract

Modern employment legislation invests the employee with important rights resulting in a greater degree of job security and improved legal protection in his employment. These rights or entitlements which are all personal in nature are divisible, for the sake of convenience, into four parts. Firstly, individual rights. These include guarantee payments, medical suspension, maternity, time off for specified activities, and the employer's insolvency. These rights are by no means exhaustive. Other rights of an individual nature as for example the right not to belong to a trade union where a closed shop is in operation; rights in connection with trade union membership; written reasons for dismissal; and so on, will be treated in the context of the discussion which will take place under the appropriate heading. Secondly, it is proposed to examine the employees right not to be discriminated against in employment on grounds of race and sex, thirdly, his right not to be unfairly dismissed will be analysed, to be followed finally by his right to redundancy payments. In this monograph, it is proposed to examine the first of these personal rights, namely the employee's individual rights. Each of the others will be discussed in subsequent monographs. It should be noted that unlike the common law terms implied into the contract of employment which consist of duties imposed on both the employer and the employee and which can be contracted out of by an express term in the contact of employment the statutory conditions of employment cannot be dispensed with in that manner. Like the implied terms at common law, the statutory conditions of employment too form another source of contract of employment though of course they are independent in that they neither form part of the contract of employment nor of the common law rights.

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Managerial Law, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2019

Marjukka Ollilainen

The purpose of this paper is to explore how women academics experience academic motherhood in the USA and Finland, how they time their pregnancy in an academic career, and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how women academics experience academic motherhood in the USA and Finland, how they time their pregnancy in an academic career, and the ways in which the different policy environments and academic opportunity structures in each country shape the management of academic work and care work during maternity leave.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection involved a snowball, convenience sample of semi-structured, long interviews with 67 academic mothers, 33 in Finland and 34 in the USA. Recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed for emerging themes.

Findings

In both countries, women academics made fertility decisions by carefully deliberating their access to maternity leave, age-related concerns and the perception of job security. In Finland, the insecurity of fixed-term contracts and intensification of the ideal worker norm shaped fertility decisions and leave activities despite generous work-family policies. The US mothers’ timing of pregnancy was influenced by concerns of age-related infertility more than career risks. Women in both countries felt pressure to maintain presence at work even while they were on leave.

Originality/value

The paper addresses a paucity of comparative studies about motherhood (and parenthood) in the academe, an increasingly central question for today’s academic workforce.

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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 20 December 2019

Shweta Belwal, Rakesh Belwal and Suhaila Ebrahim Al-Hashemi

The purpose of this paper is to take cognisance of the work–life balance (WLB) challenges facing working women in Oman, make a review of the family-friendly policies…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to take cognisance of the work–life balance (WLB) challenges facing working women in Oman, make a review of the family-friendly policies (FFPs), related provisions in labour laws of various nations, and identify and suggest some FFP-based solutions for attracting women to private sector jobs.

Design/methodology/approach

Initially, desk research was used to review the labour laws of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and some pioneering countries known for their workplace policies using the major electronic databases and official websites. An exploratory approach was used to understand the lived experience of participants using 46 in-depth interviews. The data were analysed and the findings were explained and contextualised in terms of the Arab culture, wider social processes and consequences related to WLB.

Findings

The interviews revealed that the majority of women in the private sector are not fully aware of the labour laws and FFPs, and are not satisfied with the existing policies, as they do not provide the right WLB. Women in the private sector demand flexible working hours, privacy at work, reduced work hours and certain other benefits akin to the government sector. Omani Labour Law needs a review of FFPs in line with the best global practices and Oman’s diversification initiatives. The provision, awareness and implementation of FFPs in the workplace are necessary to attract Omani women to private sector jobs.

Research limitations/implications

This research focusses on Oman in particular and GCC countries in general in its coverage of Omani women workers. The outcomes would be important for the specific segment but would have limited potential to generalise.

Practical implications

The study of WLB and FFPs is of interest for both academia and industry globally. In its strategic vision 2040, Oman aims to encourage, support and develop the private sector to drive the national economy. To retain and boost the socio-economic development in the post-oil economy, the success of the private sector will depend on the participation of the Omani workforce. The role of working Omani women will be pivotal, for they form a substantial part of the skilled human resources inventory.

Social implications

Women working in Oman are influenced by labour laws, organisational culture, traditional attitudes and societal values and influences. The voices of women working in the private sector indicate a great need to create awareness of existing policies, ensure their compliance and devise additional workplace policies to enable women to contribute to the labour market.

Originality/value

There is a dearth of studies examining work policies and employment of women in the context of Oman in particular and the GCC Countries in general. Even in the extant literature, the sectoral imbalance between the government and private sector has not been explored from the perspective of WLB and FFPs. This study presents a unique approach and findings in this regard.

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Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1989

Valerie Wyvill

In the Equal Opportunities Commission Annual Report for 1987 Joanna Foster, the Chairman, stated that, “Equal opportunities is no longer a marginal issue. Forward‐looking…

Abstract

In the Equal Opportunities Commission Annual Report for 1987 Joanna Foster, the Chairman, stated that, “Equal opportunities is no longer a marginal issue. Forward‐looking employers are responding to the changing needs of a changing workforce by introducing equal opportunity programmes and they are recognising that under‐using or discriminating against women — nearly half the workforce — is bad business.”

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Book part
Publication date: 13 January 2021

Kehinde Olowookere

At the end of this chapter, learners should be able to:

  • Discuss the origin of family-friendly policies.
  • Explain the different types of family-friendly policies.
  • Explain the…

Abstract

Learning Objectives

At the end of this chapter, learners should be able to:

  • Discuss the origin of family-friendly policies.

  • Explain the different types of family-friendly policies.

  • Explain the importance of family-friendly policies.

  • Explore the financial implications of family-friendly policies.

  • Understand how to calculate leave payment.

  • Explain possible limitations of family-friendly policies.

Discuss the origin of family-friendly policies.

Explain the different types of family-friendly policies.

Explain the importance of family-friendly policies.

Explore the financial implications of family-friendly policies.

Understand how to calculate leave payment.

Explain possible limitations of family-friendly policies.

Details

Financial and Managerial Aspects in Human Resource Management: A Practical Guide
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-612-9

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Article
Publication date: 16 September 2019

Raghunandan Reddy

The purpose of this paper is to examine the workplace experiences of women employees during maternity and post-maternity periods to reveal the institutional order that…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the workplace experiences of women employees during maternity and post-maternity periods to reveal the institutional order that coordinated the social relations and shaped their experiences through local and extra-local texts.

Design/methodology/approach

The institutional ethnography research framework allowed for mapping of workplace experiences of women employees during their maternity and post-maternity periods in their local context, connecting them to the invisible extra-local social relations.

Findings

The research study explored the disjuncture between the gender diversity initiatives that aimed at the inclusion of women employees and the workplace experiences of women employees in terms of work disengagement and work role degradation, including career discontinuity.

Practical implications

The gender diversity and inclusion initiatives of an organization need to examine the local and extra-local institutional texts that govern their context and coordinate social relations, such that there is no inconsistency between the intentions, implementation and outcomes.

Social implications

The state needs to revisit the maternity benefit act to provide additional measures to protect the career continuity of women, who choose maternity at some point in their work lives.

Originality/value

The paper explored the institutional order that influences the career continuity of women employees during maternity and post-maternity periods using institutional ethnography research framework in an information technology services organization in India. No such research study has even been attempted.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 39 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Concetta Mendolicchio and Thomas Rhein

The purpose of this paper is to study the gender specific private returns on education (RE) in Europe in a comparative perspective. The authors extend the model of de la…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the gender specific private returns on education (RE) in Europe in a comparative perspective. The authors extend the model of de la Fuente (2003) by estimating the parameters by gender and introducing maternity leaves and benefits. The paper analyses the impact of the public policy variables evaluating the elasticities with respect to unemployment benefits, marginal and average tax rates, maternity leave and childcare benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors estimate the Mincerian coefficients, with the Heckman’ selection model, for 12 West European countries using the EU-SILC data. The authors then use them as input to calibrate the decision model.

Findings

The RE of females tend to be higher than those of males in all the Europeans countries but Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. The gender gap can be explained mainly by the wage premia and labour income taxes which more than compensate the negative effects on females’ returns triggered by higher unemployment rates and maternity-related benefits.

Practical implications

The tax system has the most pronounced effect on RE. An increase in the marginal tax rates has a negative impact. An increase in the average tax rates can have a negative or positive impact, depending on the progressivity of the tax system. An increase in unemployment benefits and maternity or child-care benefits has a negative but fairly small impact.

Social implications

The analysis considers just one dimension of maternity related policies: the effect on RE and differences across gender. These policies may have aims which are beyond the scope of this paper, for instance to increase fertility. From this viewpoint, the small values of the elasticities presented are reassuring in that they suggest that they can be implemented at a fairly small cost in terms of investment in human capital.

Originality/value

The authors compute the RE using a model which allows us to take into account and assess the significance of relevant variables: wage premium, income tax, some public transfers and benefits, costs of the investments. Moreover, the authors estimate the wage premia using relatively recent EU-SILC data. Finally, the paper compares 12 EU countries spanning quite different labour market conditions and institutions.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2020

Ivana Dobrotić and Nada Stropnik

This article explores the patterns and dynamics of parenting-related leave policy reforms in the European former socialist countries (EFSCs). It sheds light on the…

Abstract

Purpose

This article explores the patterns and dynamics of parenting-related leave policy reforms in the European former socialist countries (EFSCs). It sheds light on the development pattern of their leave policies and their potential to reproduce, impede, or transform traditional gender norms in employment and care.

Design/methodology/approach

The article provides a historical comparative analysis of leave policy developments in 21 EFSCs in the 1970–2018 period. It systematically explores continuity and changes in leave policy design − generosity (leave duration and benefits level) and fathers' entitlements to leaves − as well as policy concerns and gender-equality-related implications.

Findings

Following the state-socialist commitment to gender equality, the EFSCs introduced childcare/parental leaves early. Nevertheless, they developed mother-centered leaves of equality-impeding character, in that they did not promote gender equality. The divergence of EFSCs' leave policies intensified in the period of transition from socialism to capitalism, as competing priorities and inter-related policy concerns – such as re-traditionalization, fertility incentives, gender equality, and labor market participation – influenced policy design. Leave policies of the EFSCs that joined the EU gradually transformed towards more gender-equal ones. Nonetheless, the progress has been slow, and only three countries can be classified as having equality-transforming leaves (Slovenia, Lithuania, and Romania).

Originality/value

This article extends existent comparative studies on maternity/paternity/parental leaves, exploring the region that has been overlooked by such research. It provides valuable insights into the implications of intersectional dimensions of leave design as well as competing priorities and concerns embedded in it. It points to the methodological complexity of evaluating the development of parental leave policies in a cross-country perspective.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 40 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1987

Djehane Hosni and Uma Gupta

In the age of working mothers, the human resources base of society cannot go unprotected. An established labour market trend indicates the prompt return of female workers…

Abstract

In the age of working mothers, the human resources base of society cannot go unprotected. An established labour market trend indicates the prompt return of female workers to their jobs following the birth of their babies. That fact appears to be not so widely recognised by policy makers and seems to be deliberately ignored by the business community. American society, legislatively speaking, is still operating on the basis of an old norm — that of women dropping out of the labour force to give birth to children and to raise a family. This perception is not valid and should no longer be held. “Working mothers” represent a universal pattern in the industrial countries of the world. This is evidenced by the high labour force participation rate (80 per cent) of young women of child‐bearing age (25–39 years). There is a worldwide general consensus on the effective need to protect working mothers against enduring multiple penalties in meeting work and family obligations. These sacrifices include loss of income and job, physical and psychological strain and stress as well as infant development risks. The ILO Maternity and Protection resolution of 1919 and its subsequent revisions called for supportive pregnancy and maternity measures. All the industrial and developing countries — except five — have whole‐heartedly adopted and even exceeded the ILO guidelines. The US, to this date, has not ratified the ILO recommendations, and has no national maternity policy despite a high and increasing percentage of young female workers in the labour market. Instead, there is strong opposition to any move in this direction.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 8 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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