Family-friendly working time policy in Germany and the United Kingdom

Lisa Warth

in Converging Worlds of Welfare?

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199584499
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728792 | DOI:

Series: Creating Sustainable Growth In Europe

Family-friendly working time policy in Germany and the United Kingdom

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The family-friendly organization of working time—as an issue for government policy—provides an interesting platform to analyse the way governments deal with the challenge of accommodating conflicting interests while pursuing their own policy goals. Whereas financial transfers and services to support work-family reconciliation can be directly provided through the welfare state system, employee-oriented time flexibility is subject to negotiation between employers and employees and therefore largely beyond direct government control. Focusing on policy choices by New Labour (1997–2005) in the United Kingdom and the Red-Green Coalition Government (1998–2005) in Germany, this chapter explores how the British and German governments addressed the challenge of steering change from a distance through a policy mix of encouragement of good practice and statutory regulation. Differences in policy choices are explained by situating them within nationally specific policy preferences, overarching policy goals, government-stakeholder relations, and past policy choices.

Keywords: work-family reconciliation; family-friendly; working time policy; encouragement; statutory regulation

Chapter.  7875 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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