Chiara Saraceno

La conciliazione di responsabilità familiari e attività lavorative in Italia: paradossi ed equilibri imperfetti

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The article analyses policy institutions and practices in two relevant policy areas for the issue of conciliation: the system of incentives or disincentives implicit in the tax/benefits packages with regard to patterns of family arrangements and, in particular, the gender division of labour within the household; the complex system of leave policies, working time schedules, patterns of provision of services for caring needs. The author argues that the former includes strong disincentives to wives'/mothers' labour market participation, particularly within low income households. With regard to the latter, the author argues that important innovations in the area of policies which rebalance gender obligations and rights in the field of care, are not supported by an adequate supply of social care services. Also, enterprises still resist the development of more family friendly time schedules and patterns of organisation. At the same time, changes in the labour market "de facto" exclude a large quota of young workers, particularly women, from the most innovative and friendly policies. The author concludes that until conciliation is not understood as concerning both men and women, and until labour policies and family policies are not co-ordinated, conciliation will remain difficult for women.

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