How do employers help employees reconcile work and family life?

Population and Societies

440, December 2007

France has a long tradition of pro-birth family polices, including measures to help parents reconcile their work and family life. How do employers, for their part, contribute to the work-family balance? Are the public and private sectors equally committed in this area? In this issue, Cécile Lefèvre, Ariane Pailhé and Anne Solaz present the findings of the "Familles et Employeurs", (families and employers) survey of public and private sector establishments employing at least 20 people.
Employers’ family-friendly policies generally take the form of financial support rather than benefits in kind. Occasional benefits and services are much more common
than those granted on a regular basis. Corporate day care centres are still very rare, for example, despite the fact that employers attach importance to child care provision. Some employers nonetheless offer a certain degree of work-time flexibility or agree to informal arrangements, often on a case-by-case basis. A wide range of benefits are offered by public sector companies and the civil service, often targeting families with children.
In the private sector, the measures implemented, if any, mainly concern financial support and less family-oriented benefits, such as insurance fund contributions.

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