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Tensions at the Interface of Work and Well-Being in Europe

What Convention
When 05-02-2010
from 09:00 to 16:00
Where Stockholm, Sweden
Contact Name Anahita Assadi
Contact Email
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by Amélie Guisseau last modified 11-01-2010 12:19



Tensions at the Interface of Work and Well-Being in Europe

Stockholm, February 5th 2010

Stockholm City Conference Center (Norra Latin), Drottninggatan 71b 


A conference co-organized by

the Institute for Futures Studies and RECWOWE (Reconciling Work and Welfare in Europe)


Over the last decades, we have witnessed the emergence of policy, norms and discourse at the EU level and among its Member States promoting Work Family Balance (WFB). These include flexibility in the organization of working times and hours of work, and various leave schemes for taking care of children and the disabled and elderly.  Innovative policies have been introduced in some countries, such as working time accounts, which allow workers to build up time credits during periods in the life course when they have fewer responsibilities for care. The discourse on gender equality in care has set in motion policies aimed at increasing fathers’ capabilities for Work Family Balance. Still a gap remains between norms and values for a greater Work Family Balance at the national and European levels and the structural determinants and normative pressures that inhibit the achievement of WFB. Even in Sweden this gap is apparent, despite extensive family welfare policies.



These tensions are experienced as a time squeeze in daily life by working parents seeking to reconcile work and family demands. Moreover, the pressures for increased productivity and competitiveness in the global economy at the firm level translate into greater work intensification, precarious work situations and unstable futures for individual workers and their families. Within the policies that are now being promoted to achieve Work Family Balance, tensions exist between the aims to create greater gender equality in the spheres of work and home and the unintended outcomes—as it is primarily women who make use of  the rights for reduced working hours and care leaves and they experience the care penalty in terms of job recruitment, promotion and pay. 
A team of international experts within the European Network of Excellence: Reconciling work and Welfare (RECWOWE) coming from The Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Spain, and the UK as well as Sweden, will engage with current challenges for Work Family Balance, quality of life and wellbeing in Europe.



  • Do we see greater expansion and convergence in Work Family Balance policies across and within European societies?  Or greater divergence across and within countries between those who have and those who lack the individual and institutional resources to make claims at their workplaces for a better Work Family Balance?


  • Has flexibility meant more choice to organize working times or greater pressure on workers to adapt to unsuitable hours, less predictability in hours and the disappearance of boundaries between home and work for those who are assumed to be on call and accessible all the time, unable to ‘switch off’ during family and leisure time?   




 EDACwowe logo

PUDISC - logo

TAC - logo

RECWOWE Magazine June 2011

RECWOWE Newsletter (No. 14)

Other links (official links and relevant EU projects)

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