Liss Schanke

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Transcript Liss Schanke

Equal opportunities and
work life balance
in an economic perspective:
direct and indirect effects
Liss Schanke
Norwegian Association of
Local and Regional Authorities
[email protected]
– Projects in Spain and Portugal
– Very different projects:
National, political and economic situations
project focus and levels
project partners and promoters
Project activities
– Broad bilateral input, municipalities, enterprises,
trade unions, reseachers, NGOs
– Challenges:
• Bilateral cooperation and mutual learning – not easy
• Simple terminology: gender? Mainstrreaming?
• Focusing on specific actions and concrete results
Different elements and approaches
• National economic mechanisms and
legislation,- e.g. regarding parental leave
• Local services for children and elderly, public,
private, voluntary – e.g. kindergartens
• Labour policies, including working hours, pay
gap, management styles, delegation,
recruitment – e.g. through social dialogue
• Integration of men and the male perspective –
by women and men
• Equal opportunities and
work life balance can be
studied and justified from
many perspectives:
human rights, democracy,
sociology, quality
• This presentation is
focusing on the economic
perspectives - direct
economic effects and
indirect economic effects
Effect on birth rate and demographic
• WLB makes it easier for
couples to have children
• The sustainble birth
rate is 2.1. The rates in
Europe vary between
1.3 and 2.2.
• Low birth rates means
future economic
problems: few adults to
support the elderly
Effect on employment
• WLB implies new jobs,
e.g. kindergartens and
institutions, public
sector management
• New jobs imply higher
employment rate and a
flexible labour market
• There is a positive link
between women’s
employment rate and
Gross National Product
Effect on taxes and consumption
• 2 salaries families
generally earn more
than 1 salary families and pay more taxes
• Taxes are the basis for
all public services:
schools, hospitals,
transport, institutions
• 2 salaries families
generally consume
more, - especially if
they have children
• Higher consume is
positive for private
sector: restaurants,
shops, factories,
• No easy answers
• Short and long term
• Vary between countries
and cultures
• Different national
context, different
indirect economic
• E.g. short and long
lunch break…
Better private sector company boards
• Mr. A. Gabrielsen, former
conservative minister for
private sector, initiated the
2003 Law on 40% quota in
reg.private company boards
• Argument: Success of
private companies depend
on HR quality; they need to
utilize all human resources
• Ex:Women board members:
2003: 6%, 2009: 40%
Better care for the elderly
• Number of persons over
80 doubled by 2035,
40.000 new employees
• Presently 10% male
employees in care for the
• Campaign: diversity and
quality: more men in care
• Pilot projects: men can
try a job in this sector, 8
weeks with full salary
Effects of unemployment
• Effects on unemployed
adults and youth:
motivation, capacity
• Effects on children,
friends, siblings
• Effects of unemployment on taxes/pensions
• Effects of «unregistered
labour market» on business competion/quality
Effects of day care
• On demographic growth
• On parents’ possibility for
• On children’s capacity and
motivation for education
– especially immigrant or
marginalized children
• On public and private
sector competence in a
global competitive
Effects of postponed retirement
• Continued payment of
income taxes – reduced
payment of pensions
• More active elderly
people - happier and
• 2012: EU year for the
active elderly
• Foto jobb
Effects on productivity
• Does flexible working
hours/place give more
satisfied workers?
• Does more satisfied
workers give increased
• Is working 08-16 more
productive than 08-20?
• Is presentism productive?
• Best Practice: Flexibility in
Effects on social capital
• Many forms of capital,
economic, cultural, social
• Putnam: «SC is the
collective value of all
social networks and the
inclinations that arise
from these n. to do thing
for each other»
• More networks with
08-16.00 than 08-20?
• 2011: EU voluntary year
• Best Practice: Voluntary
centre in Mandal
Effects on male role
• Work life balance may
imply a new role for men
in their own family
• WLB may open up new
jobs for men in
kindergartens, institutions
for elderly etc.
• More men in care may
imply higher total quality
of care
• Best Practice: REFORM
and Free Choice Vest
Main message: Society
benefits from greater
economic equality – not
only the poor – but the
whole population.
Examples: Life
expectancy, literacy,
infant mortality,
homicides, imprisonment,
mental illness, drug
addiction, trust…………..
Income differences between the
richest and poorest 20%
Health and Social Problems
Index of:
• Life expectancy
• Math & Literacy
• Infant mortality
• Homicides
• Imprisonment
• Teenage births
• Trust
• Obesity
• Mental illness – incl.
drug & alcohol
• Social mobility
Source: Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level (2009)
- Equality between
women and men and
work life balance that
promotes demographic
balance and labour
participation is a basis for
a sustainable economy
- A sustainable economy is
a basis for equality
between women and