Job Quality Indicators » International Comparisons of Job Quality

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Reconciliation of Work and Non-work Life

Issues around working hours, work schedules, and work-life balance continue to be the subject of much research and discussion in Canada. Labour force participation rates of women have risen dramatically over the past 25 years and dual-income families (two working partners) are now the norm for the majority of Canadian families. Increased workloads and hours of work, on-going pressures to do more with less, continuing family commitments, a rising incidence of overtime hours, and the way that technology allows us to take work home after hours are imposing a heavy burden on the Canadian workforce. Providing employees with the flexibility they need to balance their work and personal lives can be a powerful recruitment and retention tool. Clearly the ability for workers to balance work and non-working life is an important component of overall job quality. 

We examine three indicators relating to the issue of work-life balance; (1) the average annual hours worked per person; (2) the incidence of long hours of work – specifically, the proportion of workers working 40 hours or more per week; and (3) how well workers feel their work hours allowed them to balance work and family or social commitments.