Palma.—About 42 percent of people employed in the Balearics claim they are never able to change their working hours for family reasons, within even an hour of start and finish times, a report on family policy commissioned by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) confirmed yesterday. The research explores to what extent people in Spain were able to match their commitments to their family with working life last year.

Hard time for women
One of the conclusions of the report is that it is even harder for women than it is for men to make specific changes to their working hours (41.3 percent of men said they were given no flexibility against 42.3 percent of women). Only 4 percent of women said they had flexible working conditions in comparison with 6 percent of men. Around 44 percent of people working in the Balearics said they were unable to take days off for family reason and as many as 91 percent said that it was the company or business they worked for which fixed the working hours.

In terms of caring for children whilst the parents are at work, 8.3 percent who were interviewed with children aged under 14 depended on someone else to care for them during working hours.

Of this figure, 45 percent in fact paid someone else to care for the children. When comparing the data taken from interviews all over the country, it was clear, said the INE, that the Balearics was the region of the country where people were least able to take time off work, or alter the start and finish times of their jobs, to fit in with family life. The Institute for Family Policy said that flexibility in working schedules should bear the whole family in mind, not just women.

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