Clouds over Spain: Work and Family in the Age of Austerity

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 3:50 PM
Room: 415
Oral Presentation
Marc GRAU-GRAU , School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Purpose – This paper aims to contribute to the academic literature in two ways. Firstly, the paper will analyse the impact of the financial crisis on the level of flexibility, autonomy and stress of Spanish employees. Secondly, this study aims to identify if the impact of the economic crisis on the work-family balance differs by sex, educational level, economic sector and regions across Spain.

Design/methodology/approach – The article reviews relevant literature in work-family balance. Two databases (2005 Ad-hoc Module on work life balance; 2010 Ad-hoc module on conciliation between working life and family life) were analysed in order to characterise work-family balance before and during the economic recession.

Findings – The findings revealed that (a) economic crisis had a negative impact on the control and autonomy that Spaniards had of their jobs, (b) economic crisis diminishes the level of flexibility at work (c) economic crisis had a negative impact on the level of stress among Spanish employees.

Originality/value – Despite the explosive growth in the work-family literature, it is no easy to find empirical evidence showing the relationship between financial crisis and work-family balance. Moreover, the case of Spain is very interesting given the very specific circumstances of austerity there.