1. What is Work-Life Balance in a Time of Financial Crisis and Austerity?

Friday 17 January 2014 at 10:00 am

Venue: Middlesex University, Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, London NW4 4BT
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Hosts: Professor Suzan Lewis and Dr Nicky Payne, Middlesex University

The meanings and uses of the term work-life balance (WLB) have been debated by employers, policy makers and academics. This seminar will examine the changing ways in which the concept of WLB is being used in the recession in different practical contexts. For example, is WLB regarded as a luxury and/or a lever for change by employers? Are WLB policies and practices changing in the recession? Is the concept of WLB sufficiently inclusive in policy debates? Discussions including roundtables of practitioners and academics will consider implications of the research presented for policy and practice. The aim will be to seek solutions that address a triple agenda of enhancing employee work-life balance while also sustaining or enhancing organisational effectiveness and contributing to social justice.

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Seminar Programme

10 am – Coffee

10.30 am – Introduction – Dr Nicola Payne, Middlesex University

11 am – ‘WLB policies, practices and discourse in the context of public sector cuts’ Professor Suzan Lewis, Middlesex University (click to download this presentation)

11.30 am – ‘Is WLB really family-friendly?’ Dr Dalia Ben-Galim, Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) (click to download IPPR vision of childcare)

12 pm – Discussant (Stephen Wiliams, ACAS) followed by general discussion

12.30 pm – Lunch

1.15 pm – ‘The place of gender equality in current WLB debates’ Professor Olga Salido, University of Madrid

1.45 pm – ‘Working-time capabilities during economic austerity across Europe’ Professor Colette Fagan, University of Manchester (click to download this presentation)

2.15 pm – Discussant (Laura Addati, International Labour Organization, Geneva) followed by general discussion (click to download this presentation)

2.45 pm – Coffee, plus roundtable discussion sessions and feedback

3.45 pm – Summing up. Dr Ian Roper, Middlesex University

4.00-4.15 Introduction to upcoming seminars and close


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