WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Working Families Flexibility Act, H.R. 1, will go a long way toward addressing a problem affecting millions of American families — how to combine the dual demands of work and family — the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) today told the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.

Testifying on behalf of the IWF, economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth, member of the IWF Advisory Board and Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told Congress that “the revolution that swept women into the workforce brought unforeseen consequences…The question of who was going to look after the children, give them sufficient love and attention [was left unanswered]…It is here that the Working Families Flexibility Act of 1997 is so valuable” as it will offer hourly workers the choice of either one-and-one-half hours of wages or compensation time for each hour of overtime worked.

“[A] poll commissioned by IWF addressed these very questions. The survey, conducted in November 1996, asked the following question to a random sample of men and women: ‘How willing are you to give up pay at work in exchange for more personal time?’ Over half — 55 percent — of all respondents replied that this is an option they prefer. The most enthusiastic age group were workers aged from 18 to 29: 73 percent of women and 68 percent of men in this age group answered the question positively. These results reinforce the common-sense conclusion that it is working women who stand to benefit most from H.R. 1, from the additional flexibility in the workplace and additional opportunities to have more flexible hours.”

Furchtgott-Roth also noted that:

“[A further] advantage of the Working Families Flexibility Act is that it gives employees, not employers, the power to choose what is in their best interests, either more time or more money.”

“H.R. 1 would benefit not just current workers who would like additional flexibility in the market but also those Americans who currently do not work but who might find the prospect of comp time a sufficient inducement to enter the labor force.”

The Independent Women’s Forum is a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington, D.C.