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It's a family affair: the effect of union recognition and human resource management on the provision of equal opportunities in the UK

  • Sue Fernie
  • Helen Gray

Equal opportunities policies and family-friendly practices are examined using data from the 1998 Workplace Employee Relations Survey in order to assess (i) their associations with union recognition and strategic human resource management and (ii) the outcomes of what has recently been described as ''tinkering around'' for women at work. We find that, controlling for various factors, equal opportunities policies and their monitoring, together with ''softer'' family-friendly policies are strongly associated with trade union recognition. On the other hand, we find that a number of both ''hard'' and ''soft'' Human Resource Management (HRM) policies are strongly associated with flexible working practices. Employees are least likely to have access to equal opportunities and family-friendly policies in workplaces which do not recognise a union or use HRM practices, and we present evidence to suggest that this is the worst option for the employer in terms of workplace performance, as well as for those with family responsibilities.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/20089/
File Function: Open access version.
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 20089.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:20089
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  1. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel & Glenda Quintini, 2001. "The Beveridge Curve, Unemployment and Wages in the OECD from the 1960s to the 1990s - Preliminary Version," CEP Discussion Papers dp0502, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Editors : & David Marsden & Hugh Stephenson, 2001. "Labour Law and Social Insurance in the New Economy: A Debate on the Supiot Report," CEP Discussion Papers dp0500, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Erica L. Groshen, 1988. "Why do wages vary among employers?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 19-38.
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