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Cover Smith & Wood's Employment Law

5. The work–life balance legislation  

This chapter addresses a number of legislative regimes creating rights that affect the balance between work and life outside of work. Specifically, the discussion focuses on the controls over working hours and rest breaks and the right to paid annual leave in the Working Time Regulations; the law on maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and other parental leave; and the right to request flexible working arrangements. Although not all of these rights can claim work–life balance as their original policy driver, they have come to be seen as representing a loosely coherent programme for ensuring that the process of earning a living does not preclude any worker from enjoying other aspects of life, especially family life. The chapter considers, singly, each of these work–life rights, and the policies and legislation behind them and assesses whether the law delivers effective and useful rights. Gender inequality forms a central theme of the chapter, noting that many work–life balance problems flow from unequal gender norms in the home.

Chapter

Cover Smith & Wood's Employment Law

5. The work–life balance legislation  

Ian Smith, Owen Warnock, and Gemma Mitchell

This chapter addresses a number of legislative regimes creating rights that affect the balance between work and life outside of work. Specifically, the discussion focuses on the controls over working hours and rest breaks and the right to paid annual leave in the Working Time Regulations; the law on maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental, and other parental leave; and the right to request flexible working arrangements. Although not all of these rights can claim work–life balance as their original policy driver, they have come to be seen as representing a loosely coherent programme for ensuring that the process of earning a living does not preclude any worker from enjoying other aspects of life, especially family life. The chapter considers, singly, each of these work–life rights and the policies and legislation behind them, and assesses whether the law delivers effective and useful rights. Gender inequality forms a central theme of the chapter, noting that many work–life balance problems flow from unequal gender norms in the home.

Chapter

Cover Employment Law

20. Family-friendly statutes  

This chapter looks at ‘family-friendly employment laws’ and breaks each down into its component parts. It also considers whether it is appropriate that the statute book should reflect a commitment to a ‘work-life balance’, or whether this kind of legislation in fact ignores the needs of business and therefore has a deleterious effect on the economy. It begins with a background on ‘family-friendly’ legislation. It then discusses ante-natal care, health and safety issues, maternity leave, maternity pay, paternity leave, shared parental leave, adoption leave, parental leave, time off for dependants, the right to request flexible working, the right to request time off for training and the impact of family-friendly legislation.