Working time arrangements determine, to a large extent, the successful balancing of work and family life. This study investigates the role of working time preferences and hours mismatch for well-being among couples. The empirical evidence indicates that well-being is generally lower among those with working time mismatch. Particularly underemployment is detrimental for well-being. We further provide first evidence on spillovers from the partner's working time mismatch that are, however, no longer significant once we control for the partner's well-being. This suggests that well-being is contagious, and that the spillover is due to caring preferences.
Worker participation has been subject to controversial debate in Europe. Although the member states' traditions in industrial relations and especially in worker participation vary greatly, the Council of Ministers agreed on some directives in this regard, recently: the EWC directive (94/45/EC) and the information/consultation directive (2002/14/EC), and the directive (2001/86/EC) supplementing the Statute for a European Company with regard to the involvement of employees, which emphasises voluntary negotiations between employees' representatives, a so-called special negotiating body, and the management. The latter directive does not only provide information and consultation procedures but also provisions regarding board-level representation. For that reason, the focus of this paper is on the European Company (Societas Europaea = SE). In this context, the fundamental provisions regarding the SE are presented. After discussing some exemplary cases in order to demonstrate the practical implications of this legal initiative regarding employee involvement, some issues arising are examined.