Is Maternal Labor Market Re-Entry after Childbirth Facilitated by Mothers' and Partners' Flextime? By: Lott, Yvonne. Human Relations. Aug2020, Vol. 73 Issue 8, p1106-1128. 23p.

How do national-level work–life balance policies shape the role of flextime in maternal labor market re-entry after childbirth? It is well known that such policies influence the adoption, provision, and support of flexible work arrangements by organizations, but whether they shape the relevance of these arrangements for workers has been neglected in past research. This article analyzes whether mothers’ and partners’ flextime facilitates maternal labor market re-entry after childbirth in Germany, where family policy reforms have been implemented in the last two decades. Event history analysis based on German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) data from the years 2003–2013 revealed that mothers were more likely to re-enter the labor market if they had used flextime before childbirth. However, this effect existed only before the implementation of family policy reforms, namely the introduction of parental leave in 2007 and the expansion of public childcare. Moreover, the use of flextime before childbirth did not encourage mothers to maintain previous work hours (the legal right to work part time has existed in Germany since 2001). Partners’ use of flextime before childbirth was found to be less relevant for mothers’ return to work after childbirth. The analysis indicates that generous national-level work–life balance policies can diminish the effectiveness of organizational work–life balance policies for mothers’ employment behavior.