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MOST AMERICANS WANT OUTSIDE HELP IN HOME-JOB CONFLICTS

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Americans are looking for assistance and want both business and government to help in the struggle to meet the sometimes conflicting demands of work and family, a new study said Monday.

The study by the Roosevelt Center for American Policy Studies was based on forums involving 813 people at 12 different regional sites who discussed and debated work and family issues.In a 30-page summary report, "Balancing Work and Family: A Citizens' Agenda for the '90s," the center said, "Participants unequivocally called for outside help for families caught in the squeeze between work and home obligations."

The report said, "While most apparently see the employer as the key source of this help, they are prepared to involve government at all levels to encourage, and in some cases require, more generous or more flexible work and family policies."

An overwhelming 82 percent of the participants said business should develop new personnel policies to aid workers and their family needs, and only 12 percent said workers should be the ones to adapt.

And, reaching beyond current policy debates, those participating in the forums endorsed a proposal to require large employers to provide paid family and medical leave to employees. Current proposals offer only unpaid leave.