Access to family-friendly work practices
Differences within and between Australian workplaces
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This article summarises the results of recent research that looks at access to family friendly work practices among employees working within the same workplace. The analysis is based on the Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey 1995, which combines information from employers and employees, thus allowing a powerful analysis of the incentives and constraints employers face when deciding which work practices to make available to which employees. The analysis reported here focuses particularly upon four family friendly work arrangements: control over start and finish times; access to a telephone for family reasons; availability of permanent part time employment; and availability of various ways in which time is taken off work for the care of a sick family member. The analysis reveals that the variation in access to a range of work practices is greater among employees working in the same workplace than the variation between workplaces. The findings raise important questions about the extent to which family friendly work practices are being provided to the employees who need them the most.