Flexible working time and work life balance

The male breadwinner theoretical account, which puts an accent on the family as the adult female ‘s domain and the workplace as the adult male ‘s sphere, no longer specify how most households divide labour between work forces and adult females ( Crompton 2006 ) . The increased engagement of adult females in the labour market, along with technological alteration and globalisation, have dramatically changed the construction of the labour market, and have most probably changed how workers equilibrate their life between work and household. ( transcript )

Good every bit good: flexible working patterns brought upon by an increasing demand for work-life balance which have been mostly if non entirely due to external forces that are beyond the control of administrations. However, all administrations operate and seek to back up in the environments that are continuously subjected to alter. These alterations can hold a pronounced consequence on an administration, its public presentation, even its endurance. Meanwhile, clip after clip, administrations react to the drivers of alteration by taking short-run or knee dork determinations that predictably have an consequence on the manner work is organised.

What is work life balance?

“ Work life balance is employment based on emergent new values, which does n’t know apart against those with lovingness or other non- work duties, and which provides an chance for people to recognize their full potency in work and non work spheres ” . Lewis ( 1996:1 )

Harmonizing to a recent survey by Georgetown University, employee emphasis from seeking to happen clip for their kids correlates with reduced productiveness and increased absenteeism. The survey found that unplanned absences were bing some concerns about $ 1 million a twelvemonth.

Therefore, HR specializers are seeking in many efforts to assist employees make work-life balance by presenting new working schemes. One of these schemes is flexible on the job clip. Flexible programming allows employees to set the clip or put their work as completed. It can intend compacting 40 hours into four yearss, get downing and stoping working daies at different times, or making some of your work at place. The ground may be every bit simple as desiring to better pull off a long commute. Some parents choose to get at work subsequently so they can take their kids to school. Some companies may offer these options to retain female employees who might see go forthing their occupations after holding kids. But is it truly that flexible clip ever helps to accomplish work-life balance? Does employee prefer to pull off his/her clip or wish to be committed to a specified timing because he/she may non be able to pull off clip, which leads to a more muss and instability? And which of these two options will increase the productiveness?

This research brings together material from diverse beginnings to supply an overview of recent research, current thought and future arguments on the cardinal work-life policy issues, particularly those which affect organisations in Bahrain.

To construct an informed policy argument on work-life balance issues in Bahrain, more Bahraini based research is indispensable.

Chapter Two – Literature reappraisal:

2.1 Work-life balance:

The ( phrase ) Work-Life Balance was originated as a effect of the Family Friendly Policies that were introduced in the 1970s and 1980s in UK, chiefly as a keeping tool for adult females, and since so it has become a widespread construct. With this, they were for adult females and about adult females. To avoid the booby trap of being viewed as discriminatory and the demand to convey a more, across-the-board significance into these policies, they were renamed as work-life balance policies. Since the 1970 ‘s, the UK Government has introduced several governmental alterations to beef up and to protect the rights of workers. In response to these alterations, demands from employees as besides from clients who want a larger “ concern window ” a big figure of organisations in the UK, have today introduced varied and advanced Work-life balance policies. The Government continues to play a cardinal function in guaranting that ( WLB ) continues to derive impulse through statute law, fiscal inducements and support and publicity of best patterns ( Milburn, 2003 ) .

** DTI ( 2003 ) Work and Parents: Competitiveness and Choice ‘ Department of Trade and Industry, London.

2.2 What is Work life Balance?

Meanwhile, the definition of ‘Work-life balance is about people holding a step of control over when, where and how they work ( DTI, 2003 ) . This is achieved when an person ‘s right to a fulfilled life inside and outside paid work is accepted and respected as the norm, to the common benefit of the person, concern and society. ‘

work life balance emphasizes on the accommodation of working forms, and it focuses on the demand for everyone, irrespective of age, race or gender, to happen a gait ( that suits them ) to assist them unite work with other duties or aspirations. Work-Life Balance has an of import implicit in deduction that Work-Life Balance is for everyone, non merely for female parents or households and is critical in non merely developing policies but besides in reexamining them and their impact on employees ( Alexandra, 2003 ) , that ‘s why the thought that employers should heighten flexibleness has been promoted late.

Within the UK, The Prime Minister Tony Blair launched the Work-Life Balance run, in March 2000. The purpose of the run was in double. First, to convert employers of the economic benefits of work-life balance ( this was done by the employment of real-life instance surveies ) . Second, to convert employers of the demand for alteration ( DTI, 2003 ) .

Work-life concerns are merely added to an organisation ‘s package of patterns that are designed to profit competitory scheme – to help attractive force and keeping in tight labour markets, cut down high degrees of absenteeism, and set up long-run relationships with employees based on committedness and productiveness.

2.3 The demand for a work-life balance

As persons, are all expected to play multiple functions, i.e. employee, foreman, partner, parent, kid, sibling, friend, and community member. In bend, each of these functions imposes demands on us that necessitate clip, energy and committedness to carry through. The struggle of work-family or work-life happens when the cumulative demands of these many work and non-work life functions are miss-assorted in some regard so that engagement in one function is made more hard by engagement in the other function ( Duxbry and Higgins, 2001 ) . Duxbry and Higgins gestate work-life struggle to include countries such as, function overload ( RO ) ( holding excessively much to make and excessively small clip to make it in ) every bit good as function intervention ( when incompatible demands make it hard, if non impossible, for employees to execute all their functions good ) .

Additionally, function intervention can be divided into two factors: household to work intervention ( FTW ) and work to household intervention ( WTF ) . With the first instance, intervention occurs when the functions and duties of the household impede the work related duties ( i.e. , a household unwellness prevents attending at work ; struggle at place makes concentration at work hard ) . With the latter instance ( WTF ) intervention occurs when work demands make it harder for an employee to carry through their household duties.

2.4 Background to Flexible Working Rights

In April 2003 employees in the UK were foremost given the right to bespeak flexible working. In the modern work environment, the debut of these new rights helped to indicate up that traditional working forms could no longer be sustained by employers and that there was a demand to turn to the work/life balance. Organizations – already confronting accomplishments shortages – would happen enlisting and so keeping made harder if a more flexible attack to working forms was non adopted.

Suite of Rights

The flexible working rights which were established were important in themselves, nevertheless, they formed portion of a new set of rights which sought to make a more ‘family friendly ‘ work environment. Until April 2003, single parental rights were chiefly limited to pregnancy go forth for a new female parent giving her the right for a leave, the right for parents to take exigency clip off for dependents ( non merely limited to kids ) and to take up to 13 hebdomads ‘ parental leave, which had been introduced in December 1999.

In April 2003, nevertheless, the following new rights were introduced:

The right to pregnancy leave was extended well so that, for the first clip, all employees ( irrespective of their length of service ) were entitled to 26 hebdomads ‘ pregnancy leave and those with more than a twelvemonth ‘s service acquired the right to 52 hebdomads ‘ pregnancy leave.

Fathers besides gained rights, albeit limited to 2 hebdomads ‘ paternity leave, on the birth of their kid.

Extraordinary new rights were given to those seeking to follow, with statutory acceptance leave and statutory paternity leave, giving rights reflecting pregnancy and paternity leave, for following parents.

It is important ( and possibly indicates the extent to which this Government is acute to back up working parents ) that the following point on the flexible working docket, announced in 2004, is the possibility of leting flexible pregnancy leave between parents ; alternatively of merely a female parent holding the right to take up to 52 hebdomads ‘ pregnancy leave, there is the vision of some limited swapping of the right to maternity absence as between the female parent and male parent of the kid.

Before these radical new rights in 2003, the ability of any employee to work flexibly or so part-time was really much limited to fortunes where an employer agreed through good will or good pattern to such an agreement. Critics of the flexible working rights argue that the new commissariats have non moved this place frontward because all they provide is a right to bespeak and to hold that petition considered earnestly. Before they existed, nevertheless, there were merely two fortunes where flexible working forms of any kind could be enforced:

First, where an person was a handicapped employee and could show that some signifier of accommodation to their on the job hours or responsibilities and working agreements amounted to a sensible accommodation which their employer was thankful to do in conformity with the disablement favoritism.

Second, and merely as a manner of disputing a refusal, female employees could reason that in regard of parttime working, a refusal to hold to parttime work was contrary to the sex favoritism. This is on the footing that it can be shown that a pattern within an organisation forbiding parttime working ( or so a pattern leting merely full-time working ) operates to the greater disadvantage of adult females than work forces and therefore falls within the construct of indirect sex favoritism.

Why was it Implemented?

The history that reflects the flexible working Torahs introduced in 2003 goes back a figure of old ages. In June 2001, the UK Government established a Task Force whose function was to see specifically the issues which working parents face ; in peculiar the Task Force was to see how to help parents in run intoing their desire for flexible working forms, whilst at the same clip staying compatible with the demand for concern efficiency and demands.

The constitution of the Task Force was against the background of a voluntary run and Government support to promote employers and concerns to turn to work/life balance issues. In March 2000, the Prime Minister launched a run known as the Work/Life Balance Campaign with a position to carrying organisations to better the batch of working parents in such a manner as to nevertheless continue accomplishing concern and client demands. The original run was non in fact focused upon parents, but looked at all employees irrespective of whether they had caring duties or non. It was important, nevertheless, in acknowledging that the attitude, civilization and doctrine of workers had moved on well from the ambitious society of the 1980s and 1990s.

Harmonizing to information from the Department of Trade and Industry, the Work/Life Balance Campaign was accompanied by a trial fund which, in the tally up to the debut of legislative demands and legal duties, encouraged employers to present and develop advanced working agreements. By assisting to fund consultancy support, undertakings were undertaken with work/life balance in head, including the debut of new working forms every bit good as specific enlisting undertakings. Over the three old ages from 2000 to 2003, the Work/Life Balance Challenge fund benefited employers to the amount of ?10.5 million.

In its study on 19 November 2001, the Government Task Force made nine recommendations to the Government, many of which were translated to organize the footing of the new statute law.

In add-on to the run and the recommendations of the Task Force, the Government had besides informed itself of the positions of the working population, through the issue of a green paper: Work and Parents: Competitiveness and Choice. This audience paper was issued in December 2000. The responses to the audience paper made clear that whilst bettering pregnancy and so paternity rights ( such as parental leave ) would be of benefit to working parents, by far the most popular and so important benefit was improved flexibleness to run into child care and work duties. Armed with these responses and the Task Force study About Flexible Working, the Government tabled parts of the Employment Act 2002 which resulted in execution of important new flexible working rights, implemented through an amendment to the Employment Rights Act 1996 and two sets of ordinances.

Demographic Changes

Demographic alterations have played a important function in affecting the demand for organisations to develop more varied and non-traditional working forms:

With the ageing population, many more people are happening that they have caring duties such as looking after aged or handicapped relations.

As we are all life longer, more persons are going disabled, harmonizing to the Employers ‘ Forum on Disability in UK.

With the move off from extended households and as people become more nomadic, so they are non populating near to relations and parents, those with kids are less able to trust on grandparents or other relations to assist with kid attention duties.

The per centum of adult females who have taken up employment has increased.

The tendency for life anticipation, although different for work forces and adult females, has increased by approximately five old ages.

The Business Case

So much for the demographic alterations, but there are besides concern benefits for organisations which offer new or more flexible working agreements, peculiarly given the high accomplishments deficit in the UK and more older people who themselves are acute to work but may prefer or so necessitate more flexibleness.

Employers may be surprised to cognize that for some persons the ability to work flexibly is more of import than the wage or benefits that a peculiar occupation may supply. In an on-line canvass carried out by Reed Recruitment in concurrence with the Department of Trade and Industry in UK as portion of its Work/Life Balance Campaign 2002, a 3rd of those polled ( out of 4,000 people ) expressed a penchant for holding the chance to work flexibly, instead than holding a ?1,000 wage rise ( Reed.co.uk ) . Over 43 % of the work forces who responded to the canvass selected flexible working as the benefit they would most look for in a new occupation, compared to 13 % who would look for a company auto, and 7 % who considered gym rank to be the precedence.

Adopting household friendly and flexible working policies has the undermentioned advantages for employers:

Retention of staff is the key to the stableness and cognition of the organisation. Knowledge is lost when person leaves and webs are broken. This can be critical in a little concern where major clients can travel elsewhere when an employee, who understands their demands and whom they trust, moves on to a rival.

The typical enlisting costs of replacing an person have been estimated at an mean ?3,500, runing from ?1,000 for an unskilled manual worker to over ?5,000 for a professional employee. These costs do non take history of the investing made in preparation ( both formal and informal preparation ) which is lost if skilled employees leave the workplace, every bit good as lost clip and experience. Consequently, it makes commercial sense to seek and retain staff instead than enroll new staff [ Labor Turnover, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, October 2000 ] .

Savingss in absenteeism. Absenteeism costs about ?500 per employee a twelvemonth. A one-fourth of employers rank place and household duties as one of the five chief causes of sickness absence.

Employers that help their employees to equilibrate their work with their household lives see betterments in concern public presentation ( Cheibl, L. and Dex.S, 1998 ) . It enables concerns to profit from a greater part from the work force and maximizes the parts that working parents are able to do to their employers.

A strong path record in work/life balance can be a merchandising point to possible employees who consider that such a balance is of import.

Many employers sees benefits from flexible working and leave agreements including:

improved employee satisfaction and motive

improved keeping rates and enlisting benefits

increased employee productiveness

reduced labour turnover

improved repute

Reduced absenteeism.

All of which provide improved concern consequences.

After holding introduced the new rights for parents in 2003, a study was conducted and analysis of how successful the new rights have been within the UK ( Employment Relations Occasional Documents: Consequences of the First Flexible Working Employee Survey, Tom Palmer, Department of Trade and Industry ) . The result of that study demonstrated that one million parents had made petitions for flexible working. That is merely a one-fourth of those who are eligible, intending that three million who could hold made such a petition have non done so. Possibly significantly, it seems that employers when faced with such petitions do non hold any major trouble submiting them. 80 % of those employees bespeaking flexible working had their petition agreed. The deficit of those prosecuting their new rights and the three million who have non, may be explained by the study ‘s statistics which demonstrate that 52 % of parents who are eligible are incognizant in the first topographic point that they have the right to bespeak flexible working.

The Government has declared an purpose to widen these new rights beyond parents with kids under six. However, the success and significance of new rights such as these can merely be measured when persons become to the full cognizant of their abilities. The fact that 10 % of employees without dependent kids were reported in the study to hold requested flexible working, suggests that there is a demand on the portion of persons without kids to derive this benefit. In organisations where petitions were made, despite that persons did non ever have the statutory right, the grounds for the alteration warrant scrutiny:

13 % quoted work life balance

11 % cited household duties

11 % merely because they wanted more free clip ( i.e. voluntary and non driven by child care or household force per unit areas )

7 % because of travel agreements

7 % to run into the caring demands of relations or friends

6 % due to wellness jobs.

As these statistics demonstrate hence, an organisation ‘s ability to offer flexible working agreements provides a important benefit to an highly broad pool of existent or possible employees.

This may, nevertheless, merely be the tip of the iceberg. What the study does non analyse is how many persons merely do non prosecute a petition. In the Equal Opportunity Commission ‘s Annual Report for 2003-2004 ( available at www.eoc.org.uk ) four in 10 female parents, one in 10 male parents and one in five carers have left an administration or refused a occupation because of caring duties. This suggests that there are many who do non hold assurance in their organisation ‘s willingness to suit them.

What Can be Requested?

The statutory petition for flexible working, which must be in composing and must be dated ( Regulation 4 ) , can bespeak a fluctuation to the person ‘s contract in one of the undermentioned ways:

a alteration to the hours of work ;

a alteration to the clip when the work is required ( for illustration, the same eight hr twenty-four hours but an early start and early coating ) ;

a alteration to the topographic point of work as between place and topographic point of concern.

The statutory commissariats do non travel beyond these reasonably focused and limited flexible agreements. Nothing within any of the commissariats appear to forestall the employee seeking a alteration to more than one of the above, for illustration to cut down hours and work from place.

What other bookmans said:

Given the viing demands of work and life, it is unsurprising that many employees experience struggle between the two spheres. Work-life struggle can impact any employee but people with attention duties are more likely to endure most because of the greater demands on their clip. Research has tended to happen that female parents, peculiarly those with immature kids, are less satisfied with their work-life balance than other groups of workers ( Saltztein et al. 2001 ) .

Feelingss of work-life struggle have been associated with, psychological and physical wellness jobs ; matrimonial and household relationship jobs, increased sickness absence and reduced life and occupation satisfaction ( Evans and Steptoe 2002 ; Crouter et Al. 2001 ; Westman 2001 )

The effects of work-family struggle on organisational results have been good documented in the direction and psychological science literatures. Harmonizing to Netemeyer, Brashearaˆ‘Alejandro, and Boles ( 2004 ) , work-family struggle is an inter-role struggle where occupation outlooks interfere with family-related duties.

The damaging effects of work- household struggle on occupation satisfaction, employee keeping, and psychological wellbeing have besides been addressed ( Brough, and Kalliath 2004 ) .

Related to work-family struggle, individuality theory suggests persons possess certain life functions ( i.e. , work-family functions ) that may conflict, therefore making a “ spillover ” consequence ( Thoits 1991 ) .

When function clang occurs, the more valued function ( i.e. , household ) takes precedency, and persons are likely to transfuse protective steps to safeguard valued functions against possible harm.

Harmonizing to individuality theory, these defence mechanisms may be implemented at the hazard of abandoning the conflicting function ( i.e. , work ) ( Thoits 1991 ) . Consistent with this impression, a survey based in the retail gross revenues industry indicates that when salespeople brush struggle between two outstanding functions ( work and household ) , they tend to retreat from the less outstanding work function through higher turnover in order to keep the more valued household function ( Netemeyer, Brashearaˆ‘Alejandro, and Boles 2004 ) .

Work-life struggles are seen to hold a potentially damaging impact on productiveness, personal effectivity, matrimonial dealingss, child-parent relationships and even child development ( Gornick and Meyers, 2003 ) .

A reappraisal of the function struggle literature indicates that surveies suggesting links between work-family struggle and occupation satisfaction have besides witness a dramatic addition. For case, the bulk of surveies have shown that work-family struggle is associated with reduced degrees of occupation satisfaction ( Adams and King 1996 ) .

Employers do recognize that employee emphasis is partly due to the challenges in equilibrating work and household ( Matusicky 2003 ) . A good balance between work and household life has been said to profit employers, as it is linked to better life satisfaction and later to workers being more productive, originative and efficient ( Zelenski, Murphy and Jenkins 2008 ) .

Numerous surveies have demonstrated that employees who are dissatisfied with their occupations are more likely to prosecute in organisational aberrance behaviours such as working less difficult, absenteeism and company larceny ( Lau, Au, and Ho 2003 ) . A recent meta-analysis on the effects of ethical clime suggests that occupation dissatisfaction poses a important menace to organisations due to its escalating effects on dysfunctional behaviour ( Martin and Cullen 2006 ) .

Drew et al. , ( 2003 ) believes that a figure of factors might promote employers to follow policies to advance work-life balance. These include the concern instance for such constabularies such as a lower staff turnover, reduced absence and improved productiveness, every bit good as alterations in human resource direction and alterations in engineering that enhances chances for working from place. Another cardinal factor is increasing demand for greater flexibleness from employees.

All reviewed research consequences show positive effects of flex-time on the work-family balance. Flex-time workers with kids under the age of 18 study “ lower degrees of clip force per unit area ” , and a “ higher degree of occupation and life satisfaction ” than make their non-flex opposite numbers ( Zuzanek 2000 ) . Flexible work hours are associated with more satisfaction with household life ( Jekielek 2003 ) and a decrease in sensed clip emphasis ( Tausig and Fenwick 2001 ) . Analysts Comfort, Johnson and Wallace ( 2003 ) besides found flex-time to be related to increased occupation satisfaction, increased satisfaction with wage and benefits, and a decrease in paid ill yearss. All of these relationships appeared somewhat stronger for adult females.

Over tierce of Canadian employees report holding flex-time agendas ( Comfort, Johnson and Wallace 2003 ) .The proportion of those who reported holding flex-time agreements is higher among work forces than among adult females and is chiefly found in little constitutions, non-unionized scenes, low-skill businesss, retail and commercial industries.

A research on flexible working in Ireland has found these agreements are more common in the populace than in the private sector and that, adult females make usage of them more often than work forces ( Drew et al. , 2003 ) . Gender and the public/private sector differentiation are two cardinal factors in the analysis of the effects of flexible working.

The step of work-life struggle gaining controls tensenesss between work and household committednesss. In this research I want to look into whether flexible working agreements ease a work-life balance and cut down work force per unit area.

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