29/11/2007 - Getting family-friendly policies right will help reduce poverty, promote child development, enhance equity between men and women and stem the fall in birth-rates, according to a new OECD report.
Babies and Bosses, Reconciling Work and Family Life compares the different approaches that the 30 OECD countries take to help parents balance their work and family commitments.
Denmark and Iceland have the most effective public policies and workplace practices that promote a healthy work and family balance, the report finds. Finland, France, Norway and Sweden also perform well. English-speaking countries generally do well in some respects, but have high rates of child poverty, mainly because fewer lone parents work in these countries. Germany, Korea, and the Slovak Republic do poorly in most areas covered.
The report analyses tax and benefit policies, parental-leave arrangements, childcare, out-of-school-hours care, and workplace practices, such as access to part-time and flexible working hours, across the 30 OECD countries. The findings are then compared with key indicators, such as the level of child poverty, the gender pay gap and the birth rate (see Table 1).
While there is no “one-size fits all” policy recipe, the following elements can contribute to an effective public spending and policy development strategy:
See a selection of tables and graphs and country highlights for Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea and the United Kingdom.
Journalists can obtain a copy of Babies and Bosses: Reconciling Work and Family Life – A synthesis of findings for OECD countries by contacting the OECD's Media Relations Division (tel.+ 33 1 45 24 97 00).
For further information, please contact Willem Adema (tel. + 33 1 45 24 15 57) or Mark Pearson (tel. + 33 1 45 24 92 69), OECD’s Directorate of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs.
See the previous Babies and Bosses reviews of policies to promote work and family reconciliation for Australia, Denmark and the Netherlands (Vol. 1); Austria, Ireland and Japan (Vol. 2); New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland (Vol 3.); and, Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom (Vol. 4).