Work-Life Balance with Focus on the Family

Last year the message chosen by the Church in Malta for the feast of 1st May - 'Striking a Balance between Work and Family' - gave rise to lot of debate in the local press. Work-Family balance is very often equated with work-life balance which stems from the fact that workers have other needs besides the economic ones.

An empirical study conducted by the Workers’ Participation Development Centre (WPDC) at the University of Malta in conjunction with the Malta Employers’ Association (MEA) tried to delve deeply in the implications which working time arrangement may have on the social and personal life of individuals as well as on the viability of the firm. The balancing act to achieve a satisfactory equation between work and non-work domains can be a source of tension to some while it can prove to give a high degree of satisfaction to many. On the other hand the exigencies of the firm may not allow employers much room to manouvere to adjust working time according to the needs of the work-life balance of workers.

This study consisted of a focus group discussion, a questionnaire to a sample of workers and questionnaire sent electronically to employers through MEA. The response data emanating from this study was presented during a press conference held at the office of Malta Employers' Association (MEA) in Valletta on Tuesday, 23 March 2004 at 9.00 a.m.