Monday 15 May is International Day of Families, a day that focuses on the role of families and the impact of family-oriented policies in promoting overall well-being in Europe and on world of work.
For many people in Europe work-life balance is a key issue. In our research we look at some of the factors that help or hinder workers in combining working with non-working life. In particular, we look at maternity and paternity provisions, the need for quality and affordable early childhood care, as well as specific supports needed by those with care responsibilities for children and adults.
We have also documented in detail how the economic crisis that began in 2008 has impacted families in Europe, and how changes in family policy since 2010 are largely the result of a range of conflicting issues : the evolution of family needs; demands for austerity cuts; and the need for equitable distribution of limited resources.
Read more about the International Day of Families and how work-life balance can be impacted by family-oriented policies.
The economic crisis has reshaped the lives of millions of European citizens. But how has it affected families with children? Children are more at risk of poverty or social exclusion than the overall population in a large majority of EU countries; hence, it is important to understand how the crisis has affected the households in which these children grow up. This report describes the changing quality of life across the EU for different types of families with children and compares their living standards and social situation. Grouping the EU Member States into four categories on the basis of the flexibility or otherwise of their family policies, it also examines potential patterns that may be related to different family policy approaches. Themes that emerge from the findings include the particular challenges facing lone parents, the greater difficulties facing jobless families since the onset of the crisis, and the increasing extent of conflict parents experience in seeking to balance their work and family lives.