Enhancing Capabilities? Rethinking Work-life Policies and their Impact from a New Perspective

This European Research Council project 2019-2023, led by the University of Utrecht, will ask: To what extent do work-life balance policies enhance men and women’s capabilities to achieve work-life balance? CAPABLE progresses scientific and policy frontiers using innovative, mixed-methods approaches at multiple policy levels to analyse:

1. The  design of work-family policies;

2. What these policy designs mean for what men and women are effectively able to achieve – their capabilities – to achieve work-life balance given their embeddedness in individual, community and social contexts;

3. Whether work-life policies enhance individual wellbeing; and

4. What policy tools are needed for developing sustainable work-life balance policies that enhance gender equal work-life capabilities.

While the project covers 8 countries (Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK), there will be more in-depth studies for 4 of these 8 countries: the UK, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain.

COFACE Families Europe sits on the advisory board of this project.

For more, consult the project website www.worklifecapabilities.com and you can follow them on Twitter (@ERC_Capable) and LinkedIn  (www.linkedin.com/company/erc-capable).



Update July 2019

The data collection is now underway! The national experts are working on completing the questionnaires for the 8-country policy study, and some of the first results of this sub-project will be presented at the International Leave Network meeting in Hamburg this August. Data collection for the Dutch in-depth case study is also moving forward, with discussions with local stakeholders taking place in Amsterdam and Nijmegen and focus groups being scheduled for the fall.

They have also been busy presenting and discussing the CAPABLE project with multiple audiences. Mara Yerkes (PI) traveled to Los Angeles as a visiting fellow at the World Policy Analysis Center, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. She gave an invited talk about the ERC project in their Sustainable Development Goals seminar series on January 9th. While in the US, Mara also traveled to Irvine, California, where she was invited to give a talk at the Center for Demographic and Social Analysis. She met with CAPABLE advisory board member Prof. Judy Treas, and met with several of Prof. Treas’ colleagues to discuss the CAPABLE project. Most recently, Mara travelled to Nottingham, UK to present the CAPABLE project to staff and students in a joint invited seminar from the Identities, Citizenship, Equalities and Migration Centre and the International Centre for Public and Social Policy. The slides from this presentation are available on the project website under ‘News’ (or click here to view them directly).






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