IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Trade Unions and Family-Friendly Policies in Britain


  • John W. Budd
  • Karen Mumford


This paper uses linked data on over 1,500 workplaces and 20,000 individuals from the 1998 British Workplace Employee Relations Survey to analyze the relationship between labor unions and the availability of six employer-provided family-friendly policies. Although unions were negatively associated with the availability of work-at-home arrangements and flexible working hours options, they appear to have increased the availability of three other policies designed to help workers balance the demands of work and family: parental leave, special paid leave, and job-sharing options. They did so both by negotiating for additional benefits (monopoly and collective voice effects) and by providing workers with information about existing policies and assisting them in using those policies (facilitation effects).

Suggested Citation

  • John W. Budd & Karen Mumford, 2004. "Trade Unions and Family-Friendly Policies in Britain," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(2), pages 204-222, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:57:y:2004:i:2:p:204-222

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2004. "The Union Membership Wage-Premium Puzzle: Is There a Free Rider Problem?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(3), pages 402-421, April.
    2. Budd, John W & Na, In-Gang, 2000. "The Union Membership Wage Premium for Employees Covered by Collective Bargaining Agreements," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 783-807, October.
    3. Richard B. Freeman, 1981. "The Effect of Unionism on Fringe Benefits," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(4), pages 489-509, July.
    4. Andrew K. G. Hildreth, 2000. "Union Wage Differentials for Covered Members and Nonmembers in Great Britain," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 21(1), pages 133-147, January.
    5. Robert Drago & David Costanza & Robert Caplan & Tanya Brubaker & Darnell Cloud & Naomi Harris & Russell Kashian & T. Lynn Riggs, 2001. "The Willingness-to-Pay for Work/Family Policies: A Study of Teachers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 22-41, October.
    6. Waldfogel, Jane, 1998. "The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 505-545, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Abigail Gregory & Susan Milner, 2009. "Trade Unions and Work‐life Balance: Changing Times in France and the UK?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 47(1), pages 122-146, March.
    2. Sabrina Colombo & Marco Guerci & Toloue Miandar, 2019. "What Do Unions and Employers Negotiate Under the Umbrella of Corporate Social Responsibility? Comparative Evidence from the Italian Metal and Chemical Industries," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 155(2), pages 445-462, March.
    3. Jirjahn, Uwe & Mohrenweiser, Jens, 2019. "Works Councils and Organizational Gender Policies in Germany," GLO Discussion Paper Series 347, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Kato, Takao & Kodama, Naomi, 2015. "Work-Life Balance Practices, Performance-Related Pay, and Gender Equality in the Workplace: Evidence from Japan," IZA Discussion Papers 9379, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Heywood, John S. & Siebert, W. Stanley & Wei, Xiangdong, 2005. "High Performance Workplaces and Family Friendly Practices: Promises Made and Promises Kept," IZA Discussion Papers 1812, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Heywood, John S. & Siebert, W. Stanley & Wei, Xiangdong, 2005. "The Implicit Costs and Benefits of Family Friendly Work Practices," IZA Discussion Papers 1581, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Dr Alex Bryson & John Forth, 2010. "Trade Union Membership and Influence 1999-2009," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 362, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    8. Alex Bryson & P Willman, 2007. "Union Organization in Great Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0774, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    9. Takao Kato & Naomi Kodama, 2018. "The Effect of Corporate Social Responsibility on Gender Diversity in the Workplace: Econometric Evidence from Japan," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 56(1), pages 99-127, March.
    10. Benjamin Artz, 2011. "The Voice Effect of Unions: Evidence from the US," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 326-335, December.
    11. John W. Budd, 2010. "Does Employee Ignorance Undermine Shared Capitalism?," NBER Chapters, in: Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options, pages 291-316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Fang, Tony & Lee, Byron & Timming, Andrew R. & Fan, Di, 2019. "The Effects of Work-Life Benefits on Employment Outcomes in Canada: A Multivariate Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 12322, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Karen Mumford & Antonia Parera‐Nicolau & Yolanda Pena‐Boquete, 2020. "Labour Supply and Childcare: Allowing Both Parents to Choose," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 82(3), pages 577-602, June.
    14. Anne Eydoux & Marie-Thérèse Letablier, 2008. "Gestion de la Parentalité en Allemagne, France et Royaume-Uni :La Promotion de la Responsabilité Sociale des Entreprises et ses Enjeux," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 51(2:3), pages 387-405.
    15. KATO Takao & KODAMA Naomi, 2016. "Corporate Social Responsibility and Gender Diversity in the Workplace: Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers 16063, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    16. Parera-Nicolau, Antonia & Mumford, Karen A., 2005. "Labour Supply and Childcare for British Mothers in Two-Parent Families: A Structural Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 1908, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Haile, Getinet & Bryson, Alex & White, Michael, 2015. "Spillover effects of unionisation on non-members' wellbeing," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 108-122.
    18. Salomé Goñi-Legaz & Andrea Ollo-López, 2015. "Factors that Determine the Use of Flexible Work Arrangement Practices in Spain," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 463-476, September.
    19. Martin Seeleib‐Kaiser & Timo Fleckenstein, 2009. "The Political Economy of Occupational Family Policies: Comparing Workplaces in Britain and Germany," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 47(4), pages 741-764, December.
    20. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2018. "Long Commuting Time and the Benefits of Telecommuting," Discussion papers 18025, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    21. Héctor Gutiérrez Rufrancos, 2019. "Are There Gains to Joining a Union? Evidence from Mexico," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 57(3), pages 676-712, September.
    22. Ameri, Mason & Ali, Mohammad & Schur, Lisa & Kruse, Douglas L., 2019. "Disability and the Unionized Workplace," IZA Discussion Papers 12258, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    23. Mumford, Karen A. & Parera-Nicolau, Antonia & Pena-Boquete, Yolanda, 2019. "Labour Supply and Childcare: Allowing Both Parents to Choose," IZA Discussion Papers 12500, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:57:y:2004:i:2:p:204-222. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.