BA (Hons) Oxon
H70 - Abercrombie Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia
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Alexandra is a doctoral candidate in the Business School and a part-time Research Associate in its Women and Work Research Group. Her thesis topic is 'Organisational policies and employee eldercare responsibilities: the role of the line manager'.
She has a legal background, and has practised as a lawyer in East London and then as head of the Legal Department of one of the UK’s largest health unions. Subsequently she has worked in a range of research, policy and teaching positions in Australia, France and England. Her focus is on employment, discrimination and gender issues and the impact of caring responsibilities on women’s lives.
Her major publications include reporting on research she undertook on the range and impact of programmes in six OECD countries to assist migrant women workers with less than a tertiary education into employment. For an OECD/EU initiative, a comparative analysis of pregnancy discrimination laws in a number of European countries for the then UK Equal Opportunities Commission and co-authoring a practical legal guide to enforcing UK sex discrimination laws.
Most recently she has worked as a consultant on the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2014 Supporting Working Parents review which examined pregnancy and parental leave discrimination. She is also contributing to a similar enquiry by the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission. She has reviewed articles for Social Policy, the Journal of Cross Cultural Gerontology and the Journal of Industrial Relations.
Alex was awarded a Joe Isaac Travel Fellowship to attend the Isaac Industrial Relations Symposium in 2016 and was a recipient of the NSW National Council of Women Australia Day Awards 2017 for Australian women students of achievement.
Associate Alexandra Heron on ABC Radio 22 Feb 2017
ABC Radio (Canberra, Melbourne)
Research Associate Alexandra Heron spoke to ABC Radio (Canberra, Melbourne) about recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data that shows women hold 35 percent of all full-time positions in the Australian workforce.
Alexandra Heron on ABC South East NSW 18 Jul 2016
ABC South East NSW
Research Associate Alexandra Heron spoke to ABC South East NSW about maintaining a work and life balance.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Canberra Times
Doctoral candidate Alexandra Heron was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald and Canberra Times on the level of contact appropriate with the workplace when on parental leave.
Research Associate Alexandra Heron co-authored an article published in The Conversation about the application of discrimination law to pregnant women who lose their jobs.
Research Associate Alexandra Heron was interviewed on ABC PM about pregnancy and parental discrimination in the workplace.
Thesis working title
Organisational policies and employee eldercare responsibilities: the role of the line manager
Alexandra’s thesis examines the interaction of government policy (on eldercare) with organisational policy in this area. The thesis also explores the role of line managers in mediating the relationship between government and organisation policy and employee needs. It asks how external and internal institutional and regulatory pressures and policies influence practice in organisations in relation to eldercarers' responsibilities.
This work is timely as there is currently little known about how, (and how effectively), organisations are responding to employee eldercare responsibilities in Australia. This is significant because the Australian population is ageing, which means the proportion of the population available to enter the labour force is reducing while the need for informal eldercare by older workers is increasing. Government responses urge and propel more women, carers and mature aged people to enter/remain in the workforce to meet labour force needs. It also prioritises supporting older people to age at home, to reduce government aged care costs. Informal unpaid care by family, (especially by women), is essential to this policy direction. In the face of these conflicting policy aims, government is now developing policies to encourage employers to assist worker-eldercarers. For example, in 2013 the federal Government extended the right to request flexible working arrangements (FWA) ('right to request') to all carers of adults.
Thus growing regulatory, demographic and normative pressures may result in employers facing more employees who need (and ask for) practical help to manage the potential work-eldercare conflict in their lives. This will confront employers with decisions likely to affect business operational requirements. The thesis will illuminate the impact of these care demands on employees and organisations.
Heron A and Charlesworth S 2016 'Effective protection of pregnant women at work: Still waiting for delivery?', Australian Journal of Labour Law, vol.29:1, pp. 1-24
Milner S, Cooper R, Baird M and Heron A 2016 'Gender pay reporting: institutions, mechanisms, and organisational change', Gender, Work and Organization 2016 9th Biennial International Interdisciplinary Conference, Keele University, Keele, United Kingdom, 1st July 2016
Cooper R and Heron A 2016 'Women, Work and Care in Australia, Queen Mary University of London Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity Seminar Series, London, United Kingdom, 6 July 2016
Heron A 2016 'Mind the Gap, some comparisons of the GPG in Australia and Britain and institutional arrangements for tackling it, Presentation to the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity (CRED), Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom, 23 March 2016
Heron A 2015 'Eldercare and workplaces: Towards developing improved employer responses to employeesâ eldercare responsibilities', Presentation to the Australian Social Policy Conference, Sydney, Australia, 30th September 2015
Baird M and Heron A 2013 'Women, Work and Elder Care: New Policies Required for Inclusive Growth' in Inclusive Growth in Australia: Social Policy as Economic Investment, ed. Paul Smyth and John Buchanan, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, Australia, pp. 242-57
Heron A and Charlesworth S 2013 'Regulatory responses to less favourable treatment during pregnancy', 5th International Community, Work and Family Conference, University of Sydney, Australia, 19th July 2013
Baird M, Charlesworth S, Cooper R and Heron A 2013 'Reflections on Women, Work and the Global Economic Downturn', 27th Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand AIRAANZ 2013 - "Work, employment and employment relations in an uneven patchwork world", Freemantle, Australia, 8th February 2013
Martin B, Yerkes MA, Hewitt B, Baird M, Jones A, Rose E, Rose J, Davis K, Coles L, Heron A and Xiang N 2013 'Paid Parental Leave Phase 2 Report', Australian Government-Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs: Families and Children
Heron A and Charlesworth S 2012 'Working Time and Managing Care under Labor: Whose Flexibility?', Australian Bulletin of Labour, vol.38:3, pp. 214-33
Baird M and Heron A 2012 'Opinion: Childcare debate off and running', Australian Financial Review
Martin B, Hewitt B, Baird M, Baxter J, Heron A, Whitehouse G, Zadoroznyj M, Xiang N, Broom D, Connelly L, Jones A, Kalb G, Mcvicar D, Strazdins L, Walter M, Western M and Wooden M 2012 'Paid Parental Leave evaluation: Phase 1 (Occasional Paper No. 44)', Commonwealth of Australia
Baird M, Charlesworth S, Cooper R and Heron A 2011 'Women, Work and the Global Economic Downturn', A report commissioned by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA)
Baldwin S, Wright S, Yu S, Fattore T, Baird M and Heron A 2010 'Profile of Women’s Employment in NSW: Trends and Issues: Final Report', Prepared for the Office for Women’s Policy, NSW Premier and Cabinet
Palmer C, Wade J, Wood K and Heron A 2006 'Maternity and Parental Rights: a guide to parents' legal rights at work - Third edition', Legal Action Group, London, United Kingdom, pp. 880
Gornick JC and Heron A 2006 'The Regulation of Working Time as Work-family Reconciliation Policy: Comparing Europe, Japan, and the United States', Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, vol.8:2, pp. 149-66
Heron A 2005 'Promoting and protecting reduced hours workers: European Union law and part-time work' in Working Time for Working Families: Europe and the US, American University, Washington College of Law and the Hans Bockler Foundation, Washington D.C., United States, pp. 35-53
Heron A 2005 'Migrant women into work - what is working?', OECD and European Commission Seminar âMigrant Women and the Labour Marketâ, Brussels, Belgium, 27th September 2005
Heron A 2004 'Pregnancy discrimination: some international comparisons', Report for the UK Equal Opportunities Commission's Pregnancy General Formal Investigation