New Zealand

Babies and Bosses - Reconciling Work and Family Life (Vol. 3): New Zealand, Portugal, Switzerland


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Publication date: 28 October 2004

Finding a suitable work/family life balance is a challenge that all parents face. Many parents and children in New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland are happy with their existing arrangements. However, many others feel seriously constrained in one way or another, and their personal well-being suffers as a consequence.

If parents cannot achieve their desired work/family life balance, economic development is curtailed through reduced labour supply by parents. Meanwhile, a reduction in birth rates has obvious implications for future labour supply and the financial sustainability of social protection systems. As parenting is also crucial to child development, and thus the shape of future societies, policy makers have many reasons to help parents find a better work/family balance.

This study considers how a wide range of policies, including tax/benefit and childcare policies, and employment and workplace practices help determine parental labour market outcomes and may impinge on family formation. This volume also includes some options for policy reform towards a better reconciliation of work and family commitments in the three countries in question.

This book is part of the Babies and Bosses series, consisting of comparative studies of work and family reconciliation policies. To get a more comprehensive picture of reconciliation policies, please consult the initial Babies and Bosses volume on Australia, Denmark and the Netherlands, which was published in 2002, and the second volume on Austria, Ireland and Japan, which was published in 2003. The final volume in the series, to be published in 2005, will cover Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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