Making a case for work-life balance for the South African employee

Authors Tamara Cohen, Neermala Gosai

ISSN: 2413-9874
Affiliations: Associate Professor, School of Law, UKZN; Attorney of the High Court
Source: Industrial Law Journal, Volume 37 Issue 4, 2016, p. 2237 – 2250


Work-life balance is premised upon the availability of time for paid and unpaid pursuits, the ability to cope with the mental and physical strain of the job, the availability and use of flexible working arrangements, autonomy in relation to where and when the employee works, and the availability and degree of support for work-life balance in the workplace and social/family unit. This article argues that the attainment of work-life balance is integral to a sustainable workplace and is necessary to meet the demands faced by employees in the 21st century. In support of this argument it considers the drivers for work-life balance policies and practices, including the evolving workforce, the impact of globalisation on business practices and the business case for work-life balance policies and practices. It further considers the obstacles posed by employee perception of the take-up and use of work-life balance practices. The article concludes that work-life balance can be attained by providing organisational support and accommodation for such policies and practices and by changing cultural, societal and gendered perceptions in this regard.