Who cares? Employer and employee responses to employee eldercare responsibilities

Alexandra Heron and Marian Baird, Women and Work Research Group

28th Jul 2011 12:30pm-2:00pm The Darlington Centre, University of Sydney

The paper presents results from a research project funded by the Business School about employee and employer responses to employee eldercare responsibilities. The study is an exploratory one based in two large organisations, one in the public sector, the other in the private sector. Qualitative interviews were undertaken with a number of employees from the two organisations, the two HR managers and line management.

Apart from examining the policies developed by the organisations to assist workers with combining work and elder care, the project examined what adjustments to work arrangements were provided in practice and how these were negotiated. It also examined how satisfactory employer responses were for the employees concerned and whether employer intentions of retaining employees and ensuring they provided attractive workplaces appeared to be achieved. Factors indicative of success or failure in this respect were analysed.

In addition to assessing employer and employee responses to employee eldercare responsibilities, the study is aimed at identifying a more detailed agenda for future research.