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Use of work–life balance benefits guaranteed by law in Poland – Do size of the enterprise and gender matter?

Marcin Drabek 1,  
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Department of Health and Work Psychology)
Background: The paper is aimed at indicating the similarities and differences in use of benefits supporting work–life balance (WLB) between women and men working in Polish small/medium and large enterprises. Material and Methods: The sample included 556 workers (311 women, 245 men), aged 20–68 years old employed on the basis of employment contracts for at least a year in Polish enterprises. The respondents completed a questionnaire on the use of benefits guaranteed by the Polish Labour Code, referring to their current workplaces. Results: Women took maternity leaves and returned to the same work position after using childcare leaves more often than men. Men took leaves on demand more often than women. Our results also showed that in comparison to women working in smaller enterprises, those working in large enterprises were more likely to use almost all the analyzed WLB benefits – paid days off to take care of others, educational leaves, leaves on demand, maternity leaves and return to the same work position after childcare leave, reduction of business trips when pregnant or having young children and breastfeeding breaks. The size of enterprise, however, did not differentiate the take-up of benefits among the studied men. Conclusions: Our analysis brought unexpected results on the lack of common availability of the WLB benefits guaranteed by the law in the case of employees who worked on the basis of employment contracts. We also found that women used most of child rearing benefits guaranteed by the law more often than men, which might reflect still a traditional division of child care responsibilities in Poland. Med Pr 2017;68(5)
Aleksander Stańczak   
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Department of Health and Work Psychology, św. Teresy 8, 91-348 Łódź, Poland