Monday, September 14, 2009

Family-friendly policies less likely for rural parents

Rural working parents have less access to family-friendly work polices, the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire reports. Its review of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth from 2000 to 2006 found the percentage of rural workers without access to paid sick days, health insurance, dental insurance, flextime and job training is higher than urban workers in every category.

“Access to family-friendly policies is not the only solution to work-family conflict, nor is it without costs,” Carsey Fellow Rebecca Glauber says in a UNH news release. “Still, access holds the promise of significantly improving the health and well-being of workers and families." Carsey points to size of employer, differences in occupation and industry and prevalence of unionization as key factors in the difference between urban and rural workers access to sick days.

"The brief finds that single rural mothers fare worst in access to family-friendly policies, primarily because they have less education, work for smaller firms, and work in occupations and industries that are less likely to offer such benefits," the release says. The study found 41 percent of rural single mothers don't have paid sick days and more than 20 percent have no paid days off of any kind. (Read more)

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