Greening Work–Life Balance: Connecting Work, Caring and the Environment

Ravenswood, K
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Journal Article
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Brian Towers (BRITOW) and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

The emerging field of green work–life balance (growing from the work–life balance and sustainability fields) largely centres its analysis around the organisational benefits of green work–life balance policies. Consequently, it often focuses on the way in which individual behaviours can reduce the environmental footprint of the organisation. This paper argues that the gendered assumptions underpinning the research mean that the nascent field of green work–life balance has failed to theorise the way in which personal, community, environmental and organisational needs interconnect. Specifically, it has failed to address the way in which ‘care’—for people and the environment—lacks recognition because of gender norms of carework. This paper proposes a theoretical framework of green work–life balance that centres both environmental and people care. This theoretical framework can be used to inform both research and practice, including the way in which unions bargain and campaign for green clauses and just transition.

Industrial Relations Journal, 1– 16.
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This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. © 2021 The Author. Industrial Relations Journal published by Brian Towers (BRITOW) and John Wiley & Sons Ltd