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Change in work-family reconciliation policy in France and the UK since 2008: the influence of economic crisis and austerity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2020

Jan Windebank
Affiliation:
School of Languages and Cultures, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
Corresponding

Abstract

This article compares work-family reconciliation policy since 2008 in two contrasting case-study countries, namely France and the UK, and investigates how post-2008 economic circumstances and austerity measures have interacted with other policy drivers to influence the extent and shape of change in this policy area in these countries. The article demonstrates that work-family reconciliation policy in both countries has been resilient in the face of economic and budgetary problems and progress has been made albeit from different starting points and in path-dependent ways to “degender” parental leave and to improve the affordability of and access to childcare particularly for those on lower incomes. However, it also reveals that in both countries, despite partisan consensus on the need to further develop policy, a combination of economic constraints and the opposition to reform of key social and political actors has put a brake on change.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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