Introducción

En el presente dosier se extractan informes, artículos y noticias relativos al problema de la conciliación de la vida laboral y familiar (a veces abreviado como conciliación) en los Estados Unidos de América.

Según el Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad del Gobierno de España (https://www.msssi.gob.es/ssi/igualdadOportunidades/iEmpleo/corresponsabilidad.htm):

El concepto conciliación trabajo-familia se ha entendido de diversas maneras. Conciliación en sentido estricto, se refiere a la compatibilidad de los tiempos dedicados a la familia y al trabajo. En un sentido amplio, se refiere al desarrollo pleno de las personas en el ámbito del trabajo, afectivo, familiar, personal de ocio, estudio e investigación, y a disponer de tiempo para sí. Por ello, conciliar significa mantener el equilibrio en las diferentes dimensiones de la vida con el fin de mejorar el bienestar, la salud y la capacidad de trabajo personal.

La terminología más común para referirse este fenómeno en los EE. UU. alterna entre work-family conflict y work-family balance, pero también puede encontrarse el término work-family reconciliation.

Ha de señalarse que en los EE. UU. escasean las políticas gubernamentales (tanto en el ámbito federal como en el de los diferentes estados) orientadas a financiar programas que faciliten la conciliación de la vida profesional y familiar. De hecho, los EE. UU. son el único país de la OCDE sin ningún programa nacional de permiso remunerado por baja maternal. Algunas de las fuentes consultadas coinciden en que esto supone una desventaja con respecto a otras sociedades desarrolladas, no solo para el sujeto del conflicto laboral-personal, sino también para su productividad y para la competitividad de las empresas estadounidenses en un mercado globalizado.

Se han seleccionado las siguientes fuentes para ofrecer una perspectiva diversa sobre el asunto:

  • Centros de investigación y para el desarrollo de políticas sociales:
    • OCDE (internacional)
    • World Policy Analysis Center at UCLA
    • Center for American Progress
    • WorkLife Law. University of California Hastings College of Law
  • Agencias gubernamentales y legislación federal de los EE. UU. contra políticas discriminatorias:
    • S. Government Accountability Office (GAO):
    • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
    • Title IX and Sex Discrimination
  • Medios de comunicación:
    • National Public Radio
    • Valley News

 

 

Centros de investigación y para el desarrollo de políticas sociales

OCDE

Key characteristics of parental leave systems

Detallado informe sobre los sistemas de permiso por baja maternal y/o paternal en los países de la OCDE referente al año 2015: “Almost all OECD countries offer paid maternity leaves that last at least three months […] with the United States the only country to offer no statutory entitlement to paid leave on a national basis” (https://www.oecd.org/els/soc/PF2_1_Parental_leave_systems.pdf, p. 2).

OECD Family Database

Base de datos con 70 indicadores referidos a los cuatro ámbitos siguientes: estructura familiar, posición de las familias en el mercado laboral, políticas públicas para las familias y los hijos, y consecuencias para los hijos (http://www.oecd.org/els/family/database.htm).

World Policy Analysis Center at UCLA

Los siguientes enlaces permiten acceder a una gran variedad de datos mundiales comparados (en mapas mundiales contrastivos o en forma de tabla) relativos a diversos aspectos relevantes para el análisis del problema de la conciliación.

http://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/is-paid-leave-available-for-fathers-of-infants

http://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/what-is-the-maximum-wage-replacement-rate-of-paid-leave-for-parents/what-is-the-maximum-wage-replacement-rate-of-paid-leave-for-mothers

http://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/are-at-least-4-weeks-of-paid-leave-available-for-both-parents-of-infants

http://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/is-paid-leave-structured-to-incentivize-working-fathers-to-share-infant-caregiving-responsibilities

http://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/are-mothers-of-infants-guaranteed-breastfeeding-breaks-at-work

http://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/are-working-mothers-guaranteed-paid-options-to-facilitate-exclusive-breastfeeding-for-at-least-6-months

http://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/for-how-long-are-workers-guaranteed-paid-sick-leave

http://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/are-workers-entitled-to-sick-leave-from-the-first-day-of-illness

http://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/what-is-the-maximum-wage-replacement-rate-of-sick-leave/

http://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/are-working-women-and-men-guaranteed-leave-for-their-childrens-educational-needs/are-working-women-and-men-guaranteed-any-leave-for-their-childrens-educational-needs

http://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/are-working-women-and-men-guaranteed-leave-for-their-childrens-health-needs/are-working-women-and-men-guaranteed-any-leave-for-childrens-health-needs

http://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/are-working-women-and-men-guaranteed-leave-for-both-their-childrens-health-and-educational-needs

http://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/are-working-women-and-men-guaranteed-leave-to-meet-their-familys-health-needs

Center for American Progress

Este centro es un instituto independiente dedicado a promover políticas progresistas que ayuden a mejorar la vida de los estadounidenses. (https://www.americanprogress.org/about/mission/).

En este instituto hemos encontrado dos artículos relevantes.

The Three Faces of Work-Family Conflict. The Poor, the Professionals, and the Missing Middle

By Joan C. Williams and Heather Boushey. Posted on January 25, 2010, 9:00 am

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2010/01/25/7194/the-three-faces-of-work-family-conflict/

“Understanding the disconnect between Americans’ widespread concern over work-family conflict and their policymakers’ inability to pass legislation to address this issue requires a portrait of why work-family conflict is so acute today.”

Work-family conflict peor en EE. UU. que en el resto del mundo desarrollado. En EE. UU.:

  • 90 % madres y 95 % de padres se quejan de problemas de conciliación.
  • Jornada laboral > resto países desarrollados (incluido Japón): media de +11 horas/semana en 2006 que en 1979 para una familia media EE. UU.
  • Menos legislación para apoyar a las familias trabajadoras:
    • UU. único país de la OCDE sin legislación de baja maternal.
    • Único permiso familiar:
      • no remunerado
      • 3 meses máx.
      • solo aplicable a 1/2 población activa.
    • Discriminación contra trabajadores con responsabilidades familiares (ilegal en Europa) solo prohibida indirectamente.
    • NO bajas médicas remuneradas.
    • NO de restricciones sobre horas extras obligatorias.
    • NO derecho a solicitar flexibilidad de horarios sin represalias.
    • NO sueldos proporcionales para trabajo a tiempo parcial (según la autora, los cuatro puntos anteriores sí están presentes en el resto del mundo desarrollado).

Incapacidad del poder legislativo para aprobar legislación al respecto para una nueva sociedad:

  • 1960: 20 % madres empleadas; 18.5 % madres solteras
  • 2010: 70 % niños en hogares con madres y/o padres empleados
  • 2010: 25 % adultos cuidan de ancianos
  • 2010: 66 % familias con hijos con ingresos bajos tienen un solo progenitor.

Alto coste de guarderías o cuidadoras con muy pocas ayudas públicas.

Un factor distorsionador: el debate público sobre la conciliación laboral y familiar se ha centrado principalmente en las madres que deciden suspender su carrera profesional para cuidar de sus hijos.

Business case for workplace flexibility: el desajuste entre trabajo y vida personal produce altos (y costosos) niveles de absentismo y abandono, así como descenso de la productividad.

Our Working Nation. How Working Women Are Reshaping America’s Families and Economy and What It Means for Policymakers

By Heather Boushey and Ann O’Leary. Posted on March 8, 2010, 9:00 am

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2010/03/08/7383/our-working-nation/

4/10 madres proporcionan el único ingreso del hogar (madre soltera y trabajadora) o contribuyen tanto o más que su cónyuge (2/3 en el caso de las madres con ingresos bajos).

Sin embargo, la mayoría de los centros de trabajo están estructurados como si todos los trabajadores tuvieran un amo/a de casa para ocuparse de todas las necesidades familiares y el gobierno federal no ha actualizado sus políticas para ayudar a las familias. Además, las leyes promulgadas—la prestación de excedencia sin paga ofrecida por la Family and Medical Leave Act y la prohibición contra la discriminación por razón de sexo establecida en el título VII de la Civil Rights Act—no satisfacen las necesidades de los trabajadores de hoy en día, especialmente los de ingresos inferiores.

Nuevos retos: c. 770.000 parejas homosexuales, 20 % con hijos.

Efecto sobre los hombres: en parejas donde ambos trabajan, más hombres que mujeres están denunciando problemas de conciliación.

Se deben realizar reformas para mejorar la capacidad de la sociedad para cuidar de los hijos, los enfermos y los ancianos, así como para mejorar la productividad de la economía y competitividad global de la economía de los EE. UU.

The Missing Conversation About Work and Family. Unique Challenges Facing Women of Color

By Jocelyn Frye. Posted on October 3, 2016, 9:04 am

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2016/10/03/145208/the-missing-conversation-about-work-and-family/

“[…] today’s work-family narrative too often communicates a limited vision of who women are, what work is, and what families need. Buzzwords such as “opting out” are used to frame palatable stories about work-family challenges as issues of personal choice, rather than as examples of economic insecurity, inadequate workplace standards, employment barriers, racial and sex discrimination, or the lack of concrete public policy solutions. The resulting discussion is at times oversimplistic and underinclusive, lacking a deeper understanding of the diverse experiences of women—particularly women of color—and how work-family issues play themselves out differently in different communities every day”.

“[…] Resolving work-family conflicts is an important priority that women of color—and indeed, all women—consistently favor. It is critical that policymakers take action to pursue effective strategies that can improve the lives of all working families”.

WorkLife Law. University of California Hastings College of Law

The Gender Revolution has Stalled

http://worklifelaw.org/

WorkLife Law tiene como fin reanimar la revolución de género que se estancó en la década de los noventa mediante iniciativas que pueden producir cambios sociales o institucionales concretos en un plazo de tres a cinco años.

Apoyándose en la investigación, WorkLife Law desarrolla nuevos marcos intelectuales que resultan en:

  • Nuevas teorías legales (algunas adoptadas por la Equal Employment Opportunity Commission han creado nuevas salvaguardas legales para las madres, así como para los padres que comparten el cuidado de los hijos.
  • Un enfoque novedoso sobre el liderazgo femenino.
  • Cambio en la cobertura de la conciliación en los medios de comunicación más allá de las historias de mujeres que deciden dejar a un lado su carrera profesional para cuidar de sus familias para mostrar las estructuras que hacen imposible que las mujeres puedan tenerlo “todo”.
  • Integración de la diversidad en las iniciativas de la mujer.
  • Inclusión de los hombres.

Tres ejemplos de aportaciones de WorkLife Law:

  • Project for Attorney Retention (PAR) creó la política que permite que los abogados a tiempo parcial entren en la vía para adquirir el estatus de socio del bufete.
  • Part-time tenure track (2000), propuesta adoptada por universidades de todo el país para que los profesores a tiempo parcial también puedan alcanzar titularidad.
  • Nuevas teorías legales que han fundado un nuevo campo del derecho en EE. UU.: “family responsibilities discrimination,” (FRD) que otorga nuevos derechos legales a los empleados contra la discriminación por razón de responsabilidades derivadas del cuidado de un allegado.

 

 

Agencias gubernamentales y legislación federal de los EE. UU. contra políticas discriminatorias

U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-35

MILITARY PERSONNEL: DOD (Department of Defense) Should Develop a Plan to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Its Career Intermission Pilot Program

GAO-16-35: Published: Oct 27, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 2015.

Informe de la U.S. Government Accountability Office (agencia independiente que trabaja para el Congreso de los EE. UU. con el fin principal de vigilar cómo se gasta el dinero del contribuyente) sobre el Career Intermission Pilot Program (CIPP), un programa piloto que vence en 2019 y permite que los militares tomen hasta tres años de excedencia, a cambio de un periodo de servicio obligatorio a su vuelta, con el fin de flexibilizar la carrera militar y mejorar la retención del personal militar. Desde la Armada se ha dicho que este programa ha permitido “to address work-life balance challenges, such as managing deployment schedules and caring for family, that could not be achieved using other options”. Sin embargo, el programa piloto se ha aprovechado en menos de un 50% (anualmente, hasta 40 miembros por cada uno de los ejércitos) y no cuenta con un plan para evaluar el grado de retención de los militares.

Número total de participantes aprobados entre todos los ejércitos para el periodo 2009-2015

La GAO recomienda el desarrollo de un plan para evaluar si el CIPP está mejorando la retención de los miembros de las fuerzas armadas estadounidenses.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm

Title IX and Sex Discrimination

http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/tix_dis.html

U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-1328

Revised April 2015

Title IX

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces, among other statutes, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Scope of Title IX

[…]

Educational programs and activities that receive ED funds must operate in a nondiscriminatory manner. Some key issue areas in which recipients have Title IX obligations are: recruitment, admissions, and counseling; financial assistance; athletics; sex-based harassment; treatment of pregnant and parenting students; discipline; single-sex education; and employment. Also, a recipient may not retaliate against any person for opposing an unlawful educational practice or policy, or made charges, testified or participated in any complaint action under Title IX. For a recipient to retaliate in any way is considered a violation of Title IX. The ED Title IX regulations (Volume 34, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 106) provide additional information about the forms of discrimination prohibited by Title IX.

 

 

Medios de comunicación

Valley News

Column: Policy Predictions After a Clinton Win

Jared Bernstein for The Washington Post. Friday, October 21, 2016

http://www.vnews.com/clinton-agenda-5533938

“Balancing work and family: A priority for a Clinton administration in the first 100 days would be her suite of ideas to help families balance work and family life. At the heart of her agenda is 12 weeks of paid family or medical leave at no cost to businesses, meaning that she’d need to raise revenue to offset the costs. This is one of those ideas at the intersection of good policy and good politics, an area where we really need to catch up with the rest of the advanced economies.”

NPR. All Things Considered

STRETCHED: WORKING PARENTS’ JUGGLING ACT

To Retain More Parents, The Military Offers a Better Work-Life Balance

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/10/12/496911192/to-retain-more-women-the-military-offers-a-better-work-life-balance

October 12, 201610:26 AM ET. Heard on All Things Considered

Tom Bowman 2010

The Career Intermission Program (CIP) permite a los militares estadounidenses tomar un permiso de uno a tres años sin perder sus beneficios y con un pequeño porcentaje de su paga mensual.

Muchos lo están aprovechando para estudiar, viajar y, sobre todo, criar a sus hijos. Aunque los números son todavía bajos según un informe de la Government Accountability Office (GAO), en parte por los bajos ingresos, en parte por la oposición de los comandantes que temen que perder a uno de sus efectivos afectará negativamente a sus operaciones.

Por el contrario, los altos oficiales del Pentágono quieren retener a los mejores militares, especialmente a las mujeres, cuyo índice de abandono de las fuerzas armadas es un 30 % mayor que el de los hombres.

El CIP es solo uno de los esfuerzos del Pentágono por ayudar a las familias que empezaron con un fuerte empujón de la Casa Blanca. La presidencia de Obama ha fomentado políticas orientadas a la familia, pero también a impulsar la carrera de las mujeres en el ejército:

  • promoción a los rangos superiores
  • inclusión en todos los puestos de combate
  • baja maternal de 12 semanas (más que muchos de los mejores programas de empresas privadas)
  • planes para extender el horario de las guarderías militares de 12 a 14 horas/día

Michele Flournoy, una madre con un alto cargo en el Pentágono, puso en marcha otro programa de conciliación. Flournoy trabaja a las órdenes del primer jefe del Pentágono de la presidencia de Obama, Robert Gates, y acordó con Gates (quien a su vez había labrado un acuerdo similar cuando sirvió en la Casa Blanca de George H.W. Bush) un horario flexible que le permitía pasar más tiempo con sus hijos pequeños, y aplicó ofrecer la misma posibilidad a su personal. Pese al escepticismo de algunos miembros del Pentágono, el programa se llevó a cabo con éxito gracias a la distribución del trabajo en equipos, de modo que pudiera prescindirse de un miembro del equipo en cualquier momento dado.

Countries Around The World Beat The U.S. On Paid Parental Leave

October 6, 20167:09 PM ET

Heard on All Things Considered

Listen· 8:14

JESSICA DEAHL

http://www.npr.org/2016/10/06/495839588/countries-around-the-world-beat-the-u-s-on-paid-parental-leave

Out of 193 countries in the United Nations, only a small handful do not have a national paid parental leave law: New Guinea, Suriname, a few South Pacific island nations and the United States.

In the U.S., that means a lot moms and dads go back to work much sooner after the birth of a baby than they would like because they can’t afford unpaid time off.

Jody Heymann, founding director of the World Policy Analysis Center at UCLA, says the global landscape for paid parental leave looks bright, but the U.S. is far behind.

“The U.S. is absolutely the only high-income country that doesn’t, and as you can tell by the numbers, overwhelmingly the world provides it,” she says. “The world not only provides paid maternity leave, but they provide adequate paid paternity leave.”

Countries first began thinking about paid parental leave during the Industrial Revolution, Heymann says.

“In the 1800s — as soon as women started moving from working at home to working in factories — countries realized they needed to do something to ensure that women could work and care,” she says. “So they started to provide across Europe and across Latin America and elsewhere paid maternity leave — leave that would care for families, for kids and ensure that economies could succeed.”

Later on, representatives from around the world met through the United Nations and agreed to strive for a minimum of 14 weeks of leave, paid at two-thirds of a worker’s salary up to a cap. This was decades ago, and today, most countries meet or exceed that minimum. Heymann says at least 50 countries now provide six months or more of paid maternity leave.

Family Leave Around The World, By Duration

The United States is one of 8 countries — and the only high-income country, as classified by the World Bank — that do not have paid maternity leave. Far fewer countries have paid paternity leave.

Source: WORLD Policy Analysis Center at UCLA

The driving motivation behind setting a global standard for paid parental leave comes down to common sense and economic benefits, Heymann says.

“In most countries, families rely on income from both the mom and dad,” she says. “Families can’t afford to have a lengthy period without income for one of them. At the same time, newborns absolutely need parental care. So this being a fundamental piece of social insurance or what governments do as part of their social security really is common sense.

“The second piece that drives countries is I’ve spoken to finance ministers from around the world who say one of their greatest sources of success economically is getting women into the workforce in equal numbers,” Heymann continues.

Brigitte Beltre, a mother from France, explains a common way that countries pay for this leave.

“You have to know it’s not for free,” she says. “In France, you have to work a certain amount of time to have paid maternity leave. You have to give to the system. It’s like a savings account.”

Governments rely on a social insurance structure, where small contributions create a pool of money that workers can draw from when they need to take leave.

“Those contributions to the government may come from employers, employees and the government’s general revenue, but they pay it through a social insurance system, so that no business has a heavy burden — if they’re a small employer and one person’s out, or if they’re a larger employer, but disproportionately have young parents as employees,” Heymann says. “That’s how they spread the responsibility evenly.”

Canada has a similar set-up to France. Tatiana Mellema in Vancouver says being able to dip into that fund gave her enough time off to bounce back from the major medical event of giving birth.

“Physically the recovery of having a child is huge,” Mellema says. “It took, for me, months.”

She says it also gave her time to care for her new son at his most vulnerable stage.

“The financial support was essential to getting us through that year and giving me that time with him,” Mellema says. “Had I not have had it, I probably would have had to go back to work fairly quickly after I had him, which I can’t even imagine doing, because my experience is just having that year with him was so important.”

Heymann says paid parental leave policies have a significant impact on infant and maternal health.

“So there are powerful, long-term studies showing that providing paid maternity leave, for example, lowers infant mortality,” she says. “Beyond this, we know that women who have sufficient paid maternity leave are much more likely to breastfeed, and breastfeeding lowers the risk of all sorts of infectious diseases, it increases and improves cognitive outcomes, and it benefits the woman’s health.”

In Sweden, the government provides almost 16 months of paid leave to be used between two parents.

Per Einarsson, a video game developer who lives in Stockholm, Sweden, says he and his partner, Kristina, split that paid time off evenly when each of their two kids were born. He says that time helped him to be a more engaged dad.

“It was nice to be educated, if you may, to learn how to take care of my children and to bond with them, and then of course it was nice to give Kristina the possibility to get back to her job and focus on her career as well,” he says.

Einarsson says that time set a tone in their home — one that’s felt years later. Their kids are now three and five years old.

“I think in their eyes we were always very equal to them and still are,” he says. “And I think that felt good to us and hopefully to our children as well.”

But Sweden is not the norm. Most countries don’t offer equal leave to men and women. Policies around the world tend to be more centered on moms than dads. But Heymann says the most competitive countries that do provide it show that paid paternity leave is economically possible.

“Overwhelmingly, the most competitive countries in the world — the ones with the strongest economies and the lowest unemployment — do provide paid leave for dads, showing this is feasible,” she says.

And when women do get or take more paid leave than men, there can be an unintended downside: It makes it harder for women of child-bearing age to get hired or promoted.

In China, many mothers experience workplace discrimination after taking maternity leave despite laws that prohibit it.

“Although the labor law forbids the employer to fire female employees in one year after giving birth, the bosses can find ways to let the employee feel uncomfortable,” says Meng Meng, a mother who lives in China.

Lama Dossary of Saudi Arabia says taking paid leave changed how she was treated at work. There, mothers receive 10 weeks of paid time off, and fathers get three days.

“When I went back I did feel like it did affect how I was looked at, how I was treated,” Dossary says. “My promotions got stopped for a while. I wasn’t given the same amount of work, I wasn’t given the same amount of responsibility.

“I don’t know how it would affect things, but I do think that maybe if other people were able to take such leave off — whether to take care of their older parents or a father maybe has to take some time off because he has a child that needs special care for a while — I think that would at least change the perception,” she says.

According to Heymann, the U.S. is an outlier in a few ways when it comes to global parental leave polices.

On one hand, the U.S. is the only developed country without a national paid parental leave policy.

“We urgently need to catch up in the United States,” Heymann says. “For a high-income country, we have some of the worst outcomes for our infants. We have some of the highest rates of infant mortality. We have huge health inequalities.”

But despite this, Heymann says the U.S. stands out in one pretty positive way.

The U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees 12 weeks of job-protected time off equally to many American moms and dads. People caring for a sick parent or even themselves during a long illness also qualify.

Heymann points to this law as a good starting point because it treats mothers and fathers equally. But this is unpaid leave, and it doesn’t apply to about half of the American work force.

“The problem is the fact that it’s unpaid means it’s unaffordable to many Americans,” Heymann says. “And all of the caveats that come with the Family [and] Medical Leave Act that have to do with how many hours you’ve worked, how big your employer is, etc., means that millions of Americans aren’t covered. So we need to take that basis, make it paid and ensure that all Americans are covered.”

Parental Leave: The Swedes Are the Most Generous

8 de agosto de 2011

http://www.npr.org/sections/babyproject/2011/08/09/139121410/parental-leave-the-swedes-are-the-most-generous

Lots Of Other Countries Mandate Paid Leave. Why Not the U.S.?

15 de julio de 2015

http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/07/15/422957640/lots-of-other-countries-mandate-paid-leave-why-not-the-us