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Alexandra Heron

BA (Hons) Oxon
Research Associate

Rm 4056
H70 - Abercrombie Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Telephone +61 2 8627 4460
alexandra.heron@sydney.edu.au

Bio

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.

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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.

Supervisors: Marian Baird, Leanne Cutcher

Publications

2017

2
Book Section/s

Heron A, Cooper R and Meagher G 2017 Forthcoming 'Work and Care in Australia' in Women, Work and Care in the Asia-Pacific, ed. Baird, M., Ford, M., & Hill, E., Routledge, Abingdon, United Kingdom

2016

4
Journal Article/s

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 Link

5
Conference Paper/s

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

10
Report/s

Heron A 2016 'Key Asks for International Women’s Day 2016 â€" in UK workplaces', Contribution to the YESSLAW blog on pregnancy & maternity discrimination and how to end it Link

11
Seminar Paper/s

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

2015

5
Conference Paper/s

Heron A 2015 'Eldercare and workplaces: Towards developing improved employer responses to employees’ eldercare responsibilities', Presentation to the Australian Social Policy Conference, Sydney, Australia, 30th September 2015

Heron A 2015 'Who cares? Employer and employee responses to employee eldercare responsibilities', Keynote Presentation to NSW Carers Association Conference, Sydney, Australia, 22nd May 2015 Link

10
Report/s

Heron A 2015 'Supporting Working Parents: Pregnancy and Return to Work National Review in Australia', Contribution to the Power to Persuade blog Link

2013

2
Book Section/s

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

5
Conference Paper/s

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

10
Report/s

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 Link

2012

4
Journal Article/s

Baird M, Williamson S and Heron A 2012 'Women, Work and Policy Settings in Australia in 2011', Journal of Industrial Relations, vol.54:3, pp. 326-43 Link

Charlesworth S and Heron A 2012 'New Australian Working Time Minimum Standards: Reproducing the Same Old Gendered Architecture?', Journal of Industrial Relations, vol.54:2, pp. 164-81 Link

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

8
Magazine Article/s

Baird M and Heron A 2012 'Opinion: Childcare debate off and running', Australian Financial Review

10
Report/s

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

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

2011

10
Report/s

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) Link

2010

10
Report/s

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

2009

10
Report/s

Page A, Baird M, Heron A and Whelan J 2009 'Taking Care: Mature Age Workers with Elder Care Responsibilities', Background briefing paper- NSE Govt. and Women and Work Research Group WWRG Link

2006

1
Book/s

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

4
Journal Article/s

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 Link

2005

2
Book Section/s

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

5
Conference Paper/s

Heron A 2005 'Migrant women into work - what is working?', OECD and European Commission Seminar “Migrant Women and the Labour Market”, Brussels, Belgium, 27th September 2005

2004

10
Report/s

Heron A 2004 'Pregnancy discrimination: some international comparisons', Report for the UK Equal Opportunities Commission's Pregnancy General Formal Investigation