Despite the increasing policy interest in work-life balance issues, relatively little research has been carried out into the links between self-employment and family life. This report considers, for the first time, the extent to which new family-friendly initiatives and legislation provide adequate support for self-employed parents.
Drawing on an analysis of survey material from 10,000 families with children, the report explores topical issues such as:
whether self-employment offers working parents greater flexibility than other forms of employment
the price of flexibility
difficulties in relation to childcare
differences between the experiences of self-employed mothers and fathers
Alice Bell is a Researcher at NatCen (National Centre for Social Research) where she has been involved in the design and coordination of several large-scale surveys in the fields of education and childcare, including a recent national survey of parents of three- and four-year-old children, which explored their use of early years services. Ivana La Valle is a Research Director at NatCen where she is responsible for coordinating the NatCen policy interest group on families and children. In recent years she has conducted several large-scale surveys, as well as in-depth qualitative studies, on the link between parental employment and childcare provision, family-friendly working practices, student parents and the impact of atypical working on family life.
Introduction; Working arrangements; Use of childcare; Influences on mothers' decision to work; Working couples and self-employment; Conclusion.