The Sandwich Generation
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The Sandwich Generation

Caring for Oneself and Others at Home and at Work

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Lisa M. Calvano

Rising life expectancy has led to the growth of the ‘Sandwich Generation’ – men and women who are caregivers to their children of varying ages as well as for one or both parents whilst still managing their own household and work responsibilities. This book considers both the strains and benefits of this position.
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Chapter 8: National context and employer-driven work–life policies

Ariane Ollier-Malaterre


This chapter reviews empirical research on the impact of culture and structure at the country level on: 1) employees’ needs regarding the work–life interface and their expectations of support in this area; 2) the breadth and nature of work–life policies provided by employers (e.g., flexible work arrangements, leaves); and 3) employees’ ability to use these policies, that is, how supervisors view the take-up of the policies and their employees’ work–life balance. The different layers of national context reviewed in this chapter comprise culture (e.g., individualism–collectivism, gender egalitarianism, power distance) and structure (e.g., public policies, industrial relations, the tax system, industrialization, economic growth/recession, gender equality, family structures). A research agenda follows in order to guide future cross-national research looking at employer-driven work–life policies and their use by employees. Key words: work–family, work–life, national context, cross-national, culture, structure.

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