“Family-friendly” or “work-life” polices have become increasingly prevalent in the United States, but few longitudinal studies using experimental design have been implemented to test such policies. Moreover, knowledge about work-life policies aimed at low-wage workers is scant. To address this gap, OPRE supported a study by the Work, Family and Health Network (WFHN) of the National Institute for Child Health and Development (NICHD).
WFHN implemented a workplace intervention designed to reduce work-family conflict by working with supervisors and employees to redesign work activities to better meet employee needs and achieve employer goals. Implemented with two large employers, the intervention includes training supervisors on ways to support work-family balance and to increase employees’ control over their work time. Within each employer, worksites were randomly assigned to participate in the intervention. The two employers represent different industries – one is more “white collar,” while the other employs low-wage workers with more irregular hours.
OPRE contributed funding for the collection of follow-up data on employees in the low-wage industry who leave their jobs over the course of the study. This funding contributes to a fuller understanding of the effects of the intervention on all workers and especially lower-income workers, including how family-friendly or work-life policies may or may not contribute to employment retention for low-wage workers.
A descriptive report presenting characteristics of participants who left their job over the course of the study compared to those who stayed was released in 2015. Early findings from the overall study are available at the Work Family and Health Network website Visit disclaimer page .
The point of contact is Tiffany McCormack.