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Abstract

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).

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