5 Steps to Fix Work-Life Balance
US policy far behind other countries'
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jul 19, 2012 3:25 PM CDT
Work-life balance could be significantly improved if we instituted a few new policies.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Following much-discussed articles like Anne-Marie Slaughter's Atlantic piece, the question of work-life balance—particularly for women—is again in the spotlight, and that's a very good thing, writes Sarah Seltzer at Salon. The fact is, the US is embarrassingly behind on the issue. But a few policy changes could make a big difference:

  1. Paid sick and family leave should be required by law. We're the only developed country in the world that doesn't require paid maternity leave. Nor do we have laws covering time off to care for the elderly, or for our own sick days.

  1. Let's require employers to provide paid vacation days. Again, we're pretty much the only developed country that doesn't mandate them. British workers get five weeks; Germans a month. Time off can actually increase productivity, helping workers refresh.
  2. We need universal, affordable public daycare for our kids, preventing a false choice between bringing home cash and raising children. In-office daycare facilities are a good start.
Click through for the rest of the list.

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Showing 3 of 21 comments
midget_farmers
Jul 22, 2012 9:23 AM CDT
I have an idea pay employees a living wage and do not expect them to work 60 plus hours a week just to pay the rent. The extra work that needs to be done is done by another employee again being paid a living wage. Oh wait I forgot about the huge pay to the CEO's who know they can always outsource the labor to China http://www.chinahush.com/2009/10/21/amazing-pictures-pollution-in-china/ where they don't have to worry about all the regulations on the environment or labor ...
serfinWI
Jul 20, 2012 12:47 AM CDT
Like England and France is high on the productivity scale?! Ha! Most European countries are on the edge of bankruptcy because no one wants to work, but just suckle of the government teet.
darnkarma
Jul 19, 2012 8:09 PM CDT
The problem with this is that the trend in the US is for businesses to sneak around the tiny benefits that Americans are holding onto with their teeth. Independent contracting, long-term temporary workers, freelancers - The list goes on and on. Companies aren't depending on employees anymore.