Research Handbook on the Future of Work and Employment Relations
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Research Handbook on the Future of Work and Employment Relations

Edited by Keith Townsend and Adrian Wilkinson

The broad field of employment relations is diverse and complex and is under constant development and reinvention. This Research Handbook discusses fundamental theories and approaches to work and employment relations, and their connection to broader political and societal changes occurring throughout the world. It provides comprehensive coverage of work and employment relations theory and practice.
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Chapter 10: Working Time in the Employment Relationship: Working Time, Perceived Control and Work–life Balance

Lonnie Golden, Barbara Wiens-Tuers, Susan J. Lambert and Julie R. Henly


Lonnie Golden, Barbara Wiens-Tuers, Susan J. Lambert and Julia R. Henly INTRODUCTION The number and the control of working hours are increasingly crucial ingredients for employees seeking to integrate, balance or reconcile work with non-work life. As the dual-income household solidifies as a norm, and new labor force entrants attach a high value to their time away from the workplace, the employment relationship will come under increasing pressure to feature more ‘employee-centered’ types of flexibility. As more of a household’s time is spent in the paid workforce – in the form of both longer weekly hours or more weeks worked per year (Bernstein and Kornbluh, 2005) – the extent to which work, household production and leisure time might conflict over the course of a day gains. As coordination challenges rise, the daily timing of work and non-work time more directly affects worker well-being (Hamermesh, 1999). Workers across more stages in the life cycle are placing a higher value on their ability to synchronize schedules with others, such as that which is facilitated with flexibility in shift times and start and end times (Martens et al., 1999). Thus, an increasingly important feature of the employment relationship will be the degree of discretion, control or flexibility in both the duration and the daily timing of working hours in one’s job. The purpose of this chapter is to observe the extent to which workers perceive they have or lack discretion over the number and timing of their working hours and how that is associated with...

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