Challenging Labour Law in the 21st Century
Edited by Nicole Busby and Grace James
Chapter 7: Comparative Lessons on Work–Family Conflict – Swedish Parental Leave versus American Parental Leave
JOBNAME: Busby & James PAGE: 1 SESS: 3 OUTPUT: Mon Sep 12 10:44:54 2011 7. Comparative lessons on the work– family conﬂict – Swedish parental leave versus American family leave Michelle Weldon-Johns Two broad legislative approaches have been adopted by countries in order to address the work–family conﬂict: the introduction of speciﬁc work– family rights, and equality-based legislation. These contrasting approaches similarly aim to address inequalities between the sexes and to challenge traditional gender roles. This poses the question as to which may better enable working families to address their work–family conﬂicts. In order to critically examine this issue, the Swedish and USA work–family rights, as examples of each approach, will be analysed using the work–family typology classiﬁcation model. Drawing from welfare state regime literature, which classiﬁes these countries in opposing ways, this model focuses speciﬁcally on indicators relevant to the work–family conﬂict. There are two signiﬁcant ﬁndings from this analysis: ﬁrstly, despite the objectives of the legislation, both packages of rights reinforce traditional gender roles; and secondly, both countries display greater similarities than their welfare state classiﬁcations would otherwise suggest. THE WORK–FAMILY TYPOLOGY CLASSIFICATION MODEL The work–family typology classiﬁcation model (at Table 7.1) adopts a focused approach towards analysing the work–family conﬂict using three classiﬁcation indicators to critically interrogate work–family rights and classify them into one of three ideal-type typologies: the family care model, working family model...
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