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The Impact of Family-Friendly Practices on Work–Family Balance in Spain

Abstract

Not being able to combine work with family properly is negatively related to employees’ quality of life. Some firms are aware of this reality and provide their employees family-friendly practices, a set of practices designed to enable employees a work–family balance. Family-friendly practices are classified in three subsets: family support practices, flexible arrangement practices, and parental leave practices. Then, this paper analyzes the impact of different subsets of family-friendly practices on work–family balance for women and men subsamples, as well as to disentangle the mechanisms through with such effects occur. Based on a representative sample of 8,061 Spanish workers and using the Baron and Kenny procedure to test for mediation, the results show that the three subsets of family-friendly practices increase work–family balance for both genders, although some of them have different effects for women and men. In line with societal gender role expectation, family support practices better accommodate men’s need, increasing work–family balance almost for them, and parental leave practices women’s need, increasing work–family balance more for them. However, flexible arrangement practices increase work–family balance equally for both genders. Moreover, in all cases, the effect of family-friendly practices on work–family balance goes beyond the effect of time outside work and time at work, then this partial mediation indicates that time is an important mechanism in achieving work–family balance. In sum, offering employees family-friendly practices is a good starting point in order to increase people’s quality of life by helping them achieve work–family balance.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Education ECO2013-46954-C3-1-R awarded to Salomé Goñi-Legaz and ECO2013-48496-C04-2-R awarded to Andrea Ollo-López.

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Table 5 Spanish wording, English translation, and number of variables in the SQLW of the variables used in the paper

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Goñi-Legaz, S., Ollo-López, A. The Impact of Family-Friendly Practices on Work–Family Balance in Spain. Applied Research Quality Life 11, 983–1007 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-015-9417-8

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Keywords

  • Family-friendly practices
  • Family support practices
  • Flexible arrangement practices
  • Parental leave practices
  • Work–family balance