Barriers to equality: Men's and women's attitudes to workplace entitlements in Australia

  • Baxter J
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Abstract

This paper examines attitudes to workplace entitlements, such as parental leave and flexible work hours. Fami~ friendly policies such as leave to care for children have implications for feminist debates about sameness versus difference and the extent to which such policies will lead to greater equality between men and women, or alternatively, further entrench existing gender divisions of labour. Using data from a recent national survey in Australia, the paper shows that while the Australian workforce is generally in favour of workplace entitlements, women are generally more supportive of these kinds of benefits than men. Surprisingly, most respondents are more supportive of unpaid rather than paid parental leave. The results also show that the most important determinants of support for work entitlements are a combination of the extent to which one needs work entitlements and employment location. The results raise issues about whether the provision of workplace entitlements will encourage greater participation by men in domestic responsibilities, or simply ease women's double burden of paid and unpaid work.

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Authors

  • Janeen Baxter

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