Work and family: questions and data

This project aims to attain a complete overview of the issues involved in fitting together family and work life and the data available in France for studying these questions. Existing studies show that family-related events, particularly births, continue to penalize women’s occupational trajectories and that women continue to be the ones primarily in charge of daily family organization, a role that can lead to overwork, stress, and conflict. These tensions are particularly strong for women and men in non-stable jobs, working atypical hours, working in harsh conditions, working particularly long hours, or in fragile household configurations, such as single-parent families. The question of how people fit together their family and work lives is being renewed today by profound economic, social, and demographic changes. The last two decades have been marked by changes in representations of men’s and women’s roles, parenting, and how much to invest in work. New family arrangements, including shared custody of children, have also fueled these changes. Longer working lives and population aging have given new urgency to the question of assistance for aging parents as it relates to fitting together the work and family spheres. Moreover, major technological developments and employment-related changes—digital technology, telework, self- employment—have effaced the borders between private-personal and work worlds. Public policy in France—family policy and policy for ensuring equality—has also undergone major changes. We will be inventorying the different data sources (surveys and administrative data) to determine whether the time is right to open a survey that will identify the changes and trends of the last two decades (a follow up to INED’s Familles and Employeurs [Families and employers] survey).