Work Life Balance

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Many researches have been conducted continuously during the last decades to investigate the work-life balance changes within various countries. The most significant issue raised from the imbalance is long working hours. The more people work, the less time they have to spend on other activities, such as personal care or leisure. The amount and quality of leisure time is important for people’s overall well-being, and can bring additional physical and mental health benefits.There is no doubt that long-hour working hours could result in high stress at work and burnout, and work-family conflict which would correlated with negative work performance. Therefore, to reconcile the work and family conflicts, UK has taken some important policies to address this issue. Although there do have some improvements such as the availability of different kinds of leave in the statutory provisions, the impact in the employees level is not significant due to certain factors and there is still gap between the private and public sectors regarding to the implementation. Despite the existing progress, not only the state, but also the employer and employees have important roles to play in achieving better outcomes. It is noticeable that the effort of the three parties is actually intertwined with each other. Under the availability of the government regulations, its legislative impact on the workplace will be influenced by management practices and attitude. Employees could also implement work-related strategies to seek work-life balance. Moreover, the influence of the high-performance practices and conditions such as the individual flexibility and discretion over hours is diverse on male and female, and is impact is also changed with time and individual’s attitude. This essay discusses the factors by focusing on the general impact and trend. State

Working time regulations
Maternity leave/paternity leave
Parental leave
Regulations concerning part-time employment
Among the countries in EU, UK represents the longest working hours for full-time employees (British men works 3.5 hours per week more than those in Greece--the 2nd highest country) (White et al, 2003)It is also reported that the American worker were working additional hours up to a month time within one year, the increase of working hours among female employees is three times than male.In the countries that the problem lies in, government should conduct statutory instrument to regulate the time that people may work. It is aimed to limit the maximum working time, ensure the minimum rest breaks, daily and weekly rest. Secondly, family protection laws are needed to grant different leaves for employees to take care of personal and family life. For example, maternity leave, paternity leave, parental leave should be provided for employees. However, it is not enough for the level of ‘availability’. The state should make improvement in the extended leave time and payment leave. For example, UK has improved the maternity leave with pay, two weeks paternity leave in 1999 and paid for the leave in 2003 and in unpaid parental leave and time-off to family emergencies.(Dickens, 2006)The family protection laws also include part time employment which confers employees the right to reduce working hours. Employer

Besides the long-hour working, and performance practices, other predictors such as shift working, weekend work, limited job autonomy and discretion could also result in work-family conflicts. To achieve a balance between organizational goal and employees’ home life, employers could take measures such as shift working allowing appropriate period of time for resting between shifts. For example, forward-rolling shift rota could ensure employees to work for different period of time for each shift. And employer should also give enough time for breaks between shifts to ensure sufficient rests. 放在哪儿? Additionally, there are mainly three types of work-life balance policies initiated by...
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