This weeks paid leave for child birth. Instead of

This legislation is too
new to allow for assessment of its effects on sub-groups of the economy;
however, it has the potential to be an innovative legislative response to the
demand for work-life balance. In India still there is a need of some strong
regulation for catering the needs of employees in the organization.

Other countries also have
different measures in place to facilitate work-life balance for working
parents: for example Hungary, Italy, Norway, Portugal and Spain enable women to
reduce their working hours in the first 9-12 months after the birth of their
child. The U.K., similar to Italy, has implemented specific legislation on
flexibility and work-life balance through the Employment Act 2002, which came
into force in April 2003.

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While, the European Union
has provided the impetus to countries to address the issue of greater harmony
for workers in their home and work obligations by focusing on policies around
forms of parental leave. In the 1990s it set minimum standards for maternity
and parental leave through the Council Directives.

Policies There are no
such defined government laws and policies for work-life balance in India yet
there are various other laws which support employee’s work-life and provide
some relief to the employees. For example According to Maternity Benefits Act
(1961) women workers are allowed for 12 weeks paid leave for child birth. Instead
of it male candidate also allowed for the paid leave of 15 days for the
same.  Provisions regarding maximum
working hours leave and special provisions for employee’s health safety and
welfare are defined in Factories Act (1948), which makes the life of the
employees easy, according to act employer must also provide a crèche where more
than 30 women workers are employed with children below 6 years. Yet till now no
national laws are there which specifically covering rights to shared family
responsibilities/ part-time workers/ home workers/knowledge-workers, the
another biggest fact which seems to be practicising by Indian organizations is
by-passing of legislation to circumvent laws and lack of pressure for formal
policies at the organizational level to support work and family.

1.4. Legislative contexts for Work-life Balance

 

Models of work-life
balance can also be enriched by the psychology of individual differences.  For example, psychological theory concerned
with aspects of personality can enhance our understanding for perceptions of
work-life balance.  

 

In march 2007, a model of
work-life balance was also developed by Dr Mervyl McPherson of the EEO Trust on
the basis of literature review .Model define the relationships between
work-life balance, discretionary effort, employee engagement and productivity
on the basis of research evidence and logical argument. The model explains the
relationship of work-life balance initiatives to productivity through workplace
culture. 

 

Zedeck and Mosier (1990)
and O’Driscoll (1996) note that there are typically five main models used to
explain the relationship between work and life outside work, these are the
segmentation model, the spillover model, the compensation model, the instrumental
model and the conflict model Recently interest has been focused in particular
on the conflict model, especially in dual career families, although research on
the spillover and compensation models continues to be widely reported.  

1.3. Perspectives on Work-Life Balance 

 

 

 

 

of demand, particularly
in the public sector, is two-fold: it comes not only from employees, but also
from the general public, who want longer opening hours for customer
services.  The drivers which are
responsible for the formulation and implementation of work-life balance
policies can be divided into three parts these are external drivers which are
motivating factors outside the organization that lead it to implement work-life
balance policies. These include Customer relations at a local level,
Organizations that implement flexible working arrangements can respond to
demands from customers at a local level for extended opening hours. The second
type of drivers are called internal drivers which are motivating factors within
the organization, including Employer of choice, being identified by employees
and potential employees as an employer of choice.  This concept has gained in popularity in
recent years. The third and the last classification is called Social drivers
which are those facilitating factors that exist due to the characteristics of
society, or those that motivate organization due to socially responsible
attitudes towards workers.

There are various factors
which seems to be responsible for the formulation and implementation of
work-life balance policies in the organization (Jennifer Redmond, Maryann
Valiulis and Eileen Drew, 2006) even in recent years employers have responded
positively to the demands for greater flexibility in employment practices in
order to improve staff morale, retention and commitment (Forum on the Workplace
of the Future 2005: 67). Indeed, some see them as imperative in order to
maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace: “Against a background of a
tightening labor market, the recruitment and retention of quality employees has
become a major preoccupation of public and private sector employers” (Drew et
al.). The presence of work-life balance policies can lead to the organization
being identified as an employer of choice, ensuring that the organization will
continuously attract employees. Currently, organizations in the public sector
and large private sector enterprises with a significant female workforce are
willing to introduce flexible working policies (Work-life Balance Network 2004:
5), although both implementation and take-up vary greatly according to the type
of sector. The level

1.2 Drivers for work-life balance policies

                                           

Maintaining a balance
between one’s personal and professional life has become a prominent topic in
the society. The expression Work-life Balance (WLB) was first used in the
middle of 1970s to describe the balance between one’s work and personal life.
In the year 1977, Kanter opined about the “myth of separate world” and called
attention to the reality that work and home are inescapable linked. In past few
years, there has been increasing interest in WLB in the press and in scholarly
journals well as government, management and employee representative (Russel and
bowman, 2000). This increase in interest is in part driven by concerns that unbalanced
work-life relationships can result in reduced health and low performance
outcomes for individual, families and organization.

1.1 Work-life Balance

 

 More recently, the scarcity perspective has
given way to the expansion enhancement approach that views that work can
facilitate participation at home and vice-versa.  This has given rise to the concepts of
“work-family facilitation” (WFF) and “family-work facilitation” (FWF) where
experiences acquired at work can facilitate participation at home and
vice-versa.  These two notions have
contributed to the construct of work life balance where a balanced life
consists of work and family that are mutually reinforcing-the family
experiences of workers can enrich their contribution to work and organizations,
and vice-versa.

In most
developing countries, at least until recently, only men worked outside of the
home.  The old, established joint Hindu
family system facilitated a clear division of responsibilities between the old
and the young in terms of decision making, the oldest male member in a
patriarchal society is the head of household and would make all the important
decisions; male and female the men would work outside the household, whereas
the women are responsible for raising children and taking charge of a myriad
household responsibilities, including in some low-income families in certain
parts of India, walking many miles each day to fetch water and fire wood. 

The former is
also referred to as work interferes with family” (WIF) while the latter is also
known as “family interferes with work”(FIW). 
In other words, from the  scarcity
or zero-sum perspective, time devoted to work is construed as time taken away
from one’s family life. Work/life programs existed in the 1930s. The policies
and procedures established by an organization with the goal to enable employees
to efficiently do their jobs and at the same time provide flexibility to handle
personal concerns or problems at their family People entering the workforce
today are more likely to turn down to promotions if it is new job means, the
employee is having to bring more work to home.

work can impinge
upon the quality of family life and vice-versa, thus giving rise to the
concepts of “family- work conflict” (FWC) and “work-family conflict”
(WFC). 

response to the
growing concerns by individuals and organizations alike that

The term work
life balance (Work Life Balance) was coined in 1986 in

 

Introduction