Working Paper 2016-03

October 17, 2016 by Sherri Klassen

Sex and the Single Worker: Who's Cynical about Work-Life Balance?

John Kervin, University of Toronto

Mark Easton, University of Toronto

UT Sociology Working Paper No. 2016-03

June 2016

Keywords: work-life balance, gender, household structure


Increasing numbers of employers are instituting policies and practices to address the problems of employees’ work-life balance (WLB), particularly employees with children. At the same time, some workplaces are seeing a backlash against those initiatives. In particular, single employees and those in couples without children may feel discriminated against by policies that favour parents. This paper explores attitudes towards employers’ work-life balance policies and practices, using data from a national survey of Canadian employees. It also asks whether female employees who are now single or in non-parent couples (but who might have children in the future) are more accepting of WLB initiatives. The results show that in general women are not more favourable to WLB, but that attitudes depend on household structure.

University of Toronto Sociology Working Paper 2016-03