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Flexibility stigma across Europe: How national contexts can shift the extent to which flexible workers are stigmatised

Chung, Heejung and Seo, Hyojin (2023) Flexibility stigma across Europe: How national contexts can shift the extent to which flexible workers are stigmatised. Working paper. TransEuroWorks Project (KAR id:105356)


Although flexible working has expanded rapidly, especially post-pandemic, biased views against flexible workers – namely, flexibility stigma - are still prevalent and returning. Flexibility stigma hinders worker’s take up of flexible working arrangements and can make flexible working arrangements result in negative outcomes for worker’s well-being and productivity. This study examines how national cultural and policy contexts shape flexibility stigma levels within a country. We use the Eurobarometer dataset of 2018, covering 28 European countries, matched with national level aggregate data on policy and culture, and a multilevel approach to do this. Results show that in countries with a more work-life friendly work culture and egalitarian gender norms we see less prevalence of flexibility stigma. Similarly, in countries with generous family-friendly policies, workers are less likely to have negative perception towards flexible working. Finally, stronger bargaining positions of workers, may it be through stronger union power or through better labour market conditions, helps remove stigmatised views around workers who use flexible working arrangements. This study evidences the importance of contexts that shape views around flexible working, to help us better understand policy changes needed to ensure better flexible working practices.

Item Type: Reports and Papers (Working paper)
Uncontrolled keywords: flexible working; stigma; Cross-national variation; Europe; Culture; Policies
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Heejung Chung
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2024 14:28 UTC
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2024 12:25 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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