Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Work-life policy: does it do exactly what it says on the tin?

Wise, Sarah; Bond, Sue


Sarah Wise

Sue Bond


Policies which help employees balance their work and non-work priorities have become increasingly popular among UK employers in recent years. Along with a legislative imperative for family leave-related policies, employers are being encouraged to introduce work-life policies and make them more inclusive in order to enhance their business performance. This paper looks at how four financial services organisations have approached the work-life balance agenda and examines the fit between the organisational intentions for work-life policy and actual outcomes for both organisations and employees. Culture played a large part in determining the experience of policies but so did resources. What managers were being asked to achieve in the business was often incompatible with formal work-life policies. Despite the rhetoric, work-life balance was still viewed as a tool for, and was used by female parents, limiting its potential to achieve the promoted business benefits.


Wise, S., & Bond, S. (2003). Work-life policy: does it do exactly what it says on the tin?. Women In Management Review, 18, 20-31.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2003
Deposit Date Feb 28, 2008
Print ISSN 0964-9425
Electronic ISSN 1758-7182
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Pages 20-31
Keywords Family-friendly organizations; work-life balance; organizational culture; working hours; employment law; labour policy;
Public URL
Publisher URL