European Company Survey on Reconciliation of Work and Family Life
Despite the crisis the reconciliation of work and family life ranks high on the agenda of European companies
(lifePR) (Berlin, )More than eight out of ten firms consider the reconciliation of work and family life important or fairly important for both the companies themselves and their employees. This is the result of the "European Company Survey on Reconciliation of Work and Family Life 2010", a survey among more than 5.000 companies in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden and the UK published by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW Köln), the German Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
Further important results of the survey:
Swedish and British companies are most strongly engaged in human resource policies which aim to improve the balance between work and family life. On average, they have implemented ten different measures. German and French firms provide seven and six measures, respectively. Polish (five measures) and Italian (four measures) establishments are least active. In each of the six countries a positive attitude towards the reconciliation of work and family life on part of the management raises the likelihood of exhibiting a higher activity-level.
Working time arrangements and flexible modes of work organisation are the measures most commonly adopted to improve the reconciliation of work and family life. This applies to all countries. The extensive use of human resource policies to actively manage parental leave is predominantly found in Swedish, British and German firms. In every country the support for employees caring for children and other dependants is of rather low significance except for the possibility to make use of special leaves beyond statutory requirements.
Increasing job satisfaction is one of the main motives prompting companies to implement work-family reconciliation measures. In France, Italy, Poland, Sweden and the UK compliance with statutory regulations or the provisions of collective agreements is the most frequently reported reason for the implementation of work-life balance arrangements. Moreover, many firms in these five countries state that employees themselves have expressed their wish to have such policies implemented. By contrast, companies in Germany emphasise particularly often that they aim to accelerate the reintegration of workers returning from parental leave and to become more attractive for qualified staff.
The survey was conducted by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW Köln) in November and December 2009 and financially supported by the German Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.