How Family-Friendly Are Workplace Policies? A Critical Synthesis of the Literature

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This capstone project provides a critical synthesis of literature examining family-friendly workplace policies with a focus on Canada and the U.S. The review covers the caregiving context, health, stress and well-being, job satisfaction of family caregivers, and the effects of these policies on the organizational structure of the workplace. The literature is assessed against the backdrop of a feminist political economy framework. A number of policy issues are identified and critically reviewed, and several recommendations that could potentially benefit both the caregiver and the employer are discussed. These include: reducing organizational barriers for the adoption of family-friendly policies, enhancing flexibility in the work lives of caregivers, increasing government funding of work-life balance policies, and supporting technological innovation. Future research is needed to better understand the barriers to policy adoption, best practices in family-friendly approaches, as well as comprehensive evaluation of the intended and unintended consequences of current and emerging policies.
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