[Journal:] European Societies [ISSN:] 1469-8307 [Publisher:] Taylor & Francis [Place:] London [Volume:] 19 [Year:] 2017 [Issue:] 4 [Pages:] 396-418
Individual leave saving options provide new options to employees to improve their employability and work–life balance over the life course. They are based on a simple idea: Employees can deposit overtime hours or portions of due remuneration in a time credit account and withdraw them at a later point in time in order to take prolonged periods of leave for care, training, or leisure activities. It is the leading question of this article as to what extent and in which way these options are factually used by different categories of employees. By reviewing existing studies in the Netherlands and by analysing German employee data the article reveals constraints in the accessibility of leave saving options. On the basis of transaction cost theory hypotheses are formulated regarding different uses of leave saving options by age, gender, and occupational status. These hypotheses are tested using regression analysis and employee data from two German best-practice companies. They show evidence for significant restrictions in terms of a high degree of selectivity with regard to age, skill and income levels. Based on these findings recommendations for future research and working time policies are discussed.
working hours life course paid leave work–life balance