Family-Work Balance in Low-Income Couples in Quebec

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 08:45
Oral Presentation
Annabelle SEERY, Université de Montréal, Canada
Quebec (Canada) is perceived, at least in North America, as a "paradise for families". Its family policy, currently articulated mostly around two main programs implemented since the mid-1990s, the Québec Parental Insurance Plan (RQAP), and the Network of Childcare Centres (CPE), is often given as an example. Despite these programs, the issue of family-work balance is still at the heart of many parents’ lives, especially mothers and even more mothers in low-income couples. Our presentation aims to highlight the specific realities of couples of parents with precarious socio-economic status in terms of family-work balance. From a qualitative study based on 30 semi-directed interviews with heterosexual low-income parents in Quebec, we will show that their socioeconomic status is an additional obstacle to reconciliation between the different spheres of their lives. Their situation on the labor market appears to retain their use of the main programs of Québec's family policy. We will particularly highlight the consequences of occupational segregation as well as gender expectations on parents generally, but especially on mothers.