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Access to adequate resources

Evidence-Based Practices
User-Registry Practices

1. Access to adequate resources

Maximising Income Project Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 2009  - 2012

Maximising Income project was developed to support families enrolled in the Home-Start program. Financial hardship is a key factor in the lives of many of the young families that Home-Start supports. The Maximising Income project was set up in response to this and to explore whether some of these families may not be accessing all the welfare benefits and charitable grants available to them. The main tools and services used to support families in the Maximising Income project were an online benefits checker and a grants search. A free, confidential telephone helpline was also used and this provided customised support to undertake benefits checks, grants searches and to provide support for using the online services.
Information drawn from Barrett, Helen, and Elizabeth Young. Working Together to Maximise Income for Families of Young Children: Evaluation Report. September 2011.

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Provide for adequate living standards through a combination of benefits

Card Offering Discounts for Big Families Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 1921

French families and families from EU countries legally residing in France with at least three children under 18 years old can benefit from a card offering a range of discounts. The card is called a ‘Carte Familles Nombreuses’. Under the scheme, each member of the family has their own card. The management fee for processing applications comes to €19, which the family must pay. This amount stays the same however many cards are issued to the family.  When the card was created in 1921, it gave cardholders discounts on journeys using the French national railways. Families with six children or more benefit from a 75% reduction, those with five children from a 50% reduction, those with four children from a 40% reduction and those with three children from a 30% reduction. Parents who have or have raised five children at the same time benefit from a 30 % reduction on second class tickets. A poll in 2009 showed that one cardholder in four uses the card at least once a month to take the train, 26% to go on holiday or for a long weekend by train, 31% more rarely and 17% never. One family in four uses it at least once a month to benefit from commercial partners other than the French national railways.

Maximising Income Project Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 2009  - 2012

Maximising Income project was developed to support families enrolled in the Home-Start program. Financial hardship is a key factor in the lives of many of the young families that Home-Start supports. The Maximising Income project was set up in response to this and to explore whether some of these families may not be accessing all the welfare benefits and charitable grants available to them. The main tools and services used to support families in the Maximising Income project were an online benefits checker and a grants search. A free, confidential telephone helpline was also used and this provided customised support to undertake benefits checks, grants searches and to provide support for using the online services.
Information drawn from Barrett, Helen, and Elizabeth Young. Working Together to Maximise Income for Families of Young Children: Evaluation Report. September 2011.

Modena Family Card Choose translations of the previous link 
Italy, 2006

The city of Modena (IT) has an innovative way to support families. Those with three or more children under 18 years of age and annual income of less than €80,000 can receive a “Family Card”. This subscription scheme, which is free of charge, began in 2006 and has been growing in popularity, both by cardholders and the participating companies offering benefits.  Modena Family Card holders are eligible for variable rebates and discounts by showing the card along and an identification document at the time of payment (with the participating vendors). The Card also allows holders a 30% discount on bread at participating bakeries. Also, families with annual incomes of less than €40,000 are entitled to an additional 10% discount for spending up to €350 per month at certain outlets, such as the large national supermarket chain, Conad. Other types of merchants and vendors involved in the Family Card scheme include clothing retailers, home electronics stores, sports outlets, jewellers, restaurants, banks, pharmacies and clinics. The Modena City Council, together with a private bank, formally back the scheme and facilitate Family Card subscriptions with more the than 100 participating companies. Though the target group is large, low and medium-income families, the Family Card is also extended to non-married couples with three or more children in Modena. This feature is unique for Italy, which typically only recognises a family as one that is legally married.

Smoking Cessation Counseling by Midwives Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 2012

This smoking cessation program was available to pregnant women smokers in two provinces of the Netherlands.  Midwives from 21 midwife practices were trained on how to approach the subject of smoking and smoking cessation with their clients and supplied with a brief manual and intervention card explaining the seven-step protocol for effective counseling.  The seven-step protocol includes identifying smoking behavior in the client and her partner, providing information on the short-term advantages of not smoking, discussing barriers to quitting, goal setting, providing self-help materials, agreeing on aftercare, and then following up at 8 months gestation.  Midwives in the intervention gave pregnant women smokers a video, a self-help manual and a booklet for their partner about non-smoking and health counseling, in addition to a general folder from the Dutch Smoking and Health Foundation which is available online to all Dutch women beginning a pregnancy.   All intervention materials were delivered upon the pregnant smoker’s first visit to her midwife.  

Vouchers for childcare, sports and music Choose translations of the previous link 
Luxembourg, 2009

Introduced in 2009, childcare-service vouchers (Chèques-Service Accueil) in Luxembourg form the “first piece in the puzzle that makes up free childcare” according to Marie-Josée Jacobs, Minister for Family and Integration. Under the scheme, all children under the age of 13, irrespective of household income, have access to a limited number of hours of free or subsidised childcare or after school activities. Children in vulnerable situations benefit from additional free or reduced-cost hours. Vouchers can be claimed by parents of all children who are resident in Luxembourg and aged 0-12 and/or still in primary education.  Childcare-service vouchers can be used at half-way centres (or maisons –relais), crèches, daycare centres, nurseries and boarding schools as well as for the services of parental assistants.  The scheme has also been extended to cover music schools and sports clubs within the child’s town or district of residence.

Vouchers for the Purchase of Care Services Choose translations of the previous link 
France

France is offering around 1.5 million moderate-income families €200 worth of vouchers that can be used for childcare, care for the elderly or care for the disabled. The measure is intended to help those most affected by the global economic crisis.

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Support parents’ participation in the labour market

Accenture Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 2005

Accenture, a Fortune Global 500 consulting firm that employs more than 178,000 people in 49 countries, was among the 20 winners of the UK-based organisation Working Families’ annual list of family-friendly employers in the United Kingdom in 2009. The company’s ‘Maternity Returners Programme’ was set up in 2005 to increase not only the maternal return rate, but also the number of women who are still working for Accenture one year after returning from the maternity leave. Accenture’s Maternity Returners Programme includes improved contact between HR representatives, career counsellors and line managers to ensure clear, sensitive two way communication with an employee before during and after her return to work Also, the company offers a ‘New and Expectant Parents’ brochure, which includes information on its family-friendly policies, such as maternity/paternity policies, seminars for parents, flexible working, career choices and external support organisations.

After-School Care Choose translations of the previous link 
, 2005

The maisons relais or ''half-way centres'' look after children between the end of the school day and their return home. Open to children aged 3-12 – and sometimes older – they are distinguished by their flexibility, proximity of location and quality of the childcare provided. They exist in a number of European countries, in particular Luxembourg, where they have seen rapid growth in recent years. There are now 106 of these maisons relais providing almost 16,000 places for a country with a population of just under 500,000. The Luxembourg maisons relais are co-managed by the municipalities and open to children who live or attend school in the area. Their flexibility is one of their greatest benefits. Parents with variable working hours (part time, varying from day to day or week to week, etc.) have access tailored to their needs, thereby making it easier for them to combine work and family life.

After-School Hours' Clubs Choose translations of the previous link 
Malta, 2009

Klabb 3-16 is an after school hours care service for children aged 3 to 16 years who attend state, church and independent schools. Each club has a co-ordinator, who is responsible for the overall running of that particular club, and a team of dedicated and professionally trained staff.   The clubs run from Monday to Friday between 2.30pm and 6pm (during school days) and between 7.15am and 5.15pm during some holidays. The service offers a planned programme of activities where children can first do their homework, play and take part in activities. Activities include a variety of arts and crafts, storytelling, sports, drama, music activities, cooking and free play. The clubs are located in school buildings, which means that the capacity of each club depends on the buildings’ capacity as well as the staff capacity. Currently, the clubs can look after between 150 and 200 children. "Parents are advised to register their children at the respective clubs. They are also advised to book for the service directly with the club. We are very flexible, even the day before is enough for us. Obviously for better efficiency booking in advance is desirable," said Roderick Agius, the CEO of the Foundation for Educational Services.

Austrian Airlines Choose translations of the previous link 
Austria

Austrian Airlines was awarded the ‘Work and family audit’ certificate in 2008. The company’s family-friendly policies include a company medical officer, having a cash machine in the main building, offering childcare places in a kindergarten at the airport, free bus/train from the city centre in Vienna to the airport, a comprehensive career development programme, a regular employees'' newspaper and a rehabilitation programme for those with alcohol or other addiction problems and flexible options to work from home.

Awards for Family-Friendly Workplaces Choose translations of the previous link 
Hungary, 2000

Since 2000, the Social Affairs and Labour Ministry of the Hungarian government has held an annual competition for family-friendly workplaces, to recognise companies and institutions that have introduced measures facilitating a better work-life balance for employees. The government is keen for employers to become more responsive to the family-related needs of their employees and has set up a competition as it wants other companies to be able to learn from the best practice models highlighted through the award scheme. Applications are submitted and then evaluated by a jury, which is made up of representatives from the Employment Ministry, the Family Ministry, the Employment Office, trade unions, employers’ associations and civil organisations. The jury then chooses a winner in each of the five categories of awards: publicly financed and non-profit organisations, micro- (under 10 employees), small (10 to 50 employees), medium-sized (50 to 500 employees) and large enterprises (over 500 employees). The five winners can call themselves ‘Family-friendly workplaces’ for the year in question and use the accompanying logo.

Brede School All Day Community School Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 1994

In the Netherlands, all schools – public and private – are fully subsidised by the state. ‘Brede schools’ do not receive extra funding. Rather, the ‘brede school’ policy is linked to local rather than national policy, also in relation to funding. Supporting policies do exist at national level, which stimulate the development of the ‘brede school’ concept. The activities and buildings are further organised and funded through the municipality, school boards and other bodies, such as social work, child day-care, and sport and art organisations. ‘Brede schools’ are open to children of all ages: from pre-school through primary and up to secondary level. There are now more than 1,200 ‘brede schools’ in the Netherlands. In the 1990s, these schools were located in traditionally disadvantaged areas and particularly in those with high rates of migrant inhabitants. These community-centred schools were meant to enhance the chances of these groups and to help families better integrate into society. Nowadays, ‘brede schools’ are increasingly located in a wider variety of areas; not only in large cities in traditionally disadvantaged areas, but in order to maintain a certain level of facilities for children and their parents also in small villages.

Cap Canailles Intercompany Creche Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2009

Employees from seven organisations based in the same area of Marseille in France have been able to put their children in an intercompany crèche called ‘Cap Canailles’ since February 2009. The crèche is located in ‘la Joliette’, an area with some 11,000 employees and 1,000 companies. If they take up the option, parents pay the same rate as for a municipal crèche and the opening times (7.30am until 7.30pm) are longer than for municipal crèches. “Creches in France are hard to come by and there are long waiting lists,” says Marie Pelen, who runs the Cap Canailles intercompany crèche. Looking after young children is a major problem for working parents in France as, on average, there are only nine crèche places available in the country for every 100 children aged up to four.

Centres for Families Choose translations of the previous link 
Italy

Municipal Centres for Families are local facilities offering practical services for families with children who face everyday problems, such as the difficulty of reconciling work and family. These centres, located mostly in the Italian region of Emilia Romagna, primarily support young couples, single parents and immigrant families – the latter of which are often not fully integrated into the local society. Municipal Centres are also frequently meeting places for groups of families who enrol in discussion groups addressing work–life balance. The Centres are part of the municipal system of social services and are coordinated and financed by the Emilia Romagna Region. In recent years, however, five other regional centres have joined the core Municipal Centre group, following Emilia Romagna’s example.

Charter for a Family-Friendly Company Choose translations of the previous link 
Belgium, 2009

Consultation between employees and management is key to addressing the challenges of reconciling work and family life.

In May 2009 the Belgian civil society organisation, the Gezinsbond (the ‘league of families’), launched an initiative to promote family-friendly policies to companies. The aim is to create a forum for the promotion of a family-friendly business culture and to allow companies to advertise themselves as family-friendly employers.

The initiative, the ‘Charter for a family-friendly company’ comprises an agreement to be signed by both employer and staff representatives – either a trade union representative or individual staff members making up half the total personnel plus one. By signing the charter employees confirm that their employer subscribes to four key values and applies 10 principles that are considered to be important in combining work and family life. The values enshrined in the charter refer to the organisation’s commitment to:respect for an employee’s role in their family, equal opportunities for both genders within the company andopenness to dialogue. While these values refer more to the general philosophy and approach of the organisation, the Charter also itemises the principles that the employer applies in practice, such as: respect for existing labour law regulations, clear and transparent communication and implementation, integration of family-friendliness into business plans and flexible working arrangements such as teleworking or part-time.

Businesses, government organisations and the non-profit sector are all eligible for recognition by signing the Charter with their staff.

Charter for More Women in Management Choose translations of the previous link 
Denmark, 2008

The Danish government is seeking to encourage enterprises to have more women to fill management positions through a Charter called the ‘Charter for more women in management’. Despite having a very high share of women in the labour market, the share of women in management in Denmark is well below the European Union average: In 2009, the percentage in Denmark was 24% as against 33% for the EU as a whole. The aim of the Charter is “to ensure that women and men have equal opportunities to pursue management careers; to launch specific, measurable initiatives in companies and organisations to increase the proportion of women at all levels of management; and to make sure that public and private sector enterprises deploy all talents”. The Charter was developed by five public enterprises (the Danish Medicines Agency, the University of Southern Denmark, the State Employer''s Authority, the Ministry of Employment and the Municipality of Aarhus) and five private enterprises (pump manufacturer Grundfos, international consulting group Cowi, financial services company Nykredit, supermarket chain Irma and airline SAS) and presented in March 2008.

Coface Iberica Choose translations of the previous link 
Spain

Coface Ibérica, the Spanish division of the French insurance company Coface, has a system of flexible working hours. Employees can choose the time that they start and finish work as long as their monthly target of working hours is met. They can start work any time between 8am and 9.30am, take a lunch break of at least 30 minutes and two hours at most and can leave work at 4.30pm at the earliest. Staff at Coface Ibérica do not work on Friday afternoons. They may be able to leave at 4.30 pm every day of the week and can do so when they need to by managing their time. If necessary, they can work longer hours on another day of work to compensate for the fact that they have worked less hours on certain days The weekly working time is 40 hours, reduced to 35 hours between 15 June and 15 September. The employees can also reduce their monthly working time by up to ten hours provided that they make up that shortfall the following month. The company does not keep data on how and how many employees take advantage of the flexible working hours. However, it maintains that the fact that employees can work fewer hours in a given month helps families in extraordinary situations. One example of this is an employee who had to take their child for treatment because the child was suffering from attention problems at school.

Company of the Year: Equal Opportunities Choose translations of the previous link 
Czech Republic, 2004

Since 2004, Gender studies, a Czech NGO that promotes equal opportunities in the labour market, has been organising a yearly ‘‘Company of the Year: Equal Opportunities’ contest. The competition seeks to motivate employers to implement effective equal opportunities programmes and policies for both women and men. The scheme receives financial support from the European Union and the Czech Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The competition is a means of promoting equal opportunities in the Czech Republic and a special form of rewarding companies that address this issue. Gender equality is still a relatively marginal topic in the country, partly because the perceived lack of profitability for the support of equal opportunities by companies and the general unawareness among the wider public of the benefits involved. “The purpose of the contest is not only to recognise the best employers but also to motivate others by providing examples of good practice”, stressed Helena Skálová, project coordinator.

Dell Choose translations of the previous link 
Slovakia, 2009

Dell manufactures PC hardware and provides IT software and IT solutions. It has offices in 43 countries and around 78,000 employees worldwide. The Slovak subsidiary employs 1,500 people, 40% of whom have families. It carries out an annual employee survey on its family friendly policies and asks for suggestions from employees. “Where particular policies get the most votes and are feasible, we introduce them,” said Pavol Varga, the Human Resources Manager for the Dell Bratislava site. One example of a policy introduced based on employee feedback is to give employees the day off when it is their child’s first day back at school after the summer holidays. The policy was introduced in September 2009 and applies for the first four years of the child being at primary school (i.e. from age six to ten).

Equality is Quality Award Choose translations of the previous link 
, 2000

The Equality is Quality award (‘Prémio Igualdade é Qualidade’), which dates back to 2000, is given to private companies, public organisations and non-proift organisations which promote gender equality. Its aim is to combat discrimination and promote equality between women and men at work, in employment and vocational training and reconciling work and family life. The award recognises company practices that can help women access the labour market and those that can help men take a full part in family life. Two companies won the award partly for the latter type of practice.

Ernst and Young Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2008

In France, 72% of employees believe companies “do not do much” to help them achieve a healthy work-life balance. These re the findings of the Corporate Parenthood Observatory revealed in its 2010 Barometer on Work-Life Balance based on a survey carried out among 1,002 employees with children under the age of 25 living at home. A signatory to the Parenthood Charter since April 2008, Ernst and Young (E&Y), the auditing and consulting firm, has introduced a range of services to support maternity. Stated aims: to help ensure maternity is a joyous occasion for both employees and employer and to increase the loyalty of female staff. The auditor set up a system of individual meetings. These meetings, which last for an hour, are attended by a partner from the service line and a HR representative.  hese meetings enable various issues and concerns expressed by employees to be addressed calmly and meticulously. They include topics such as the reorganization of client portfolios, missed training courses, promotions, remuneration and return-to-work conditions.

Family-Friendly Companies' Prize Choose translations of the previous link 
Estonia, 2001

A family magazine called Pere ja Kodu (Family and Home) and a business newspaper called Äripäev (Business Daily) set up an Estonian Family- and Employee-Friendly Company Award in 2001. The idea was to draw attention to companies in Estonia that value a family-friendly corporate culture. Between 2001 and 2008, Pere ja Kodu and Äripäev bore the costs of the competition alone. However, since 2009, the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs has paid for most of the cost, which comes to around 4,000 euro per year. The two magazines now focus on organising the competition and publishing the results. “I can’t say that Estonian society was child- or family-friendly in 2000. Ten years ago the issue of family-friendly companies was very rarely, if ever, raised in Estonia,” says Tiia Kõnnussaar, editor-in-chief of Pere ja Kodu. Companies take part to build their reputations, to show how they are more family-friendly than other companies and thereby to attract good employees. The winners of the competition gain media publicity in the magazine and the newspaper, which helps promote the company’s public image. In addition, a public event is organised every year for the best companies.

Family-Friendly Company Certificate Choose translations of the previous link 
Slovenia, 2007

To help strike a better work-life balance Slovenia introduced in 2007 a certification scheme to encourage employers to apply family-friendly principles in the workplace. The ‘Family Friendly Company’ certificate is awarded to companies in Slovenia that adopt at least three measures from a catalogue of work-family reconciliation measures, such as flexible working times, company childcare services, job sharing, adoption leave, part-time work and the assistance to care for a disabled family member. The certificate is implemented under the auspices of the Slovenian Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs. Goals of the certificate scheme include:

Sensitising businesses about negative impact of discriminating parents and potential parents in the workplace and  in the labour market

Providing businesses with tools for implementing human resource policies that enable a better balance of work and family for their employees;

Publicly recognising businesses with a positive attitude to provide options of balancing work and family of their employees.

Financial Support for Pregnant Women in Need - Mother and Child Foundation Choose translations of the previous link 
Germany, 1984

The German Federal Foundation “Mother and Child – Protection of Unborn Life” was established in 1984. It provides additional, easily accessible financial support to struggling mothers-to-be, aiming to make it easier for them to go ahead with childbirth.  Since its creation, the foundation has supported about 150,000 pregnant women in need every year – about one fifth of all expectant mothers in Germany. Between 2006 and 2009, roughly two thirds of recipients were German, while one third were citizens of other countries. Only 3% of recipients were under 18 years old.

Gender Equality Bonus Choose translations of the previous link 
Sweden, 2008

Sweden’s ‘gender equality bonus’ – introduced in 2008 – is designed to make it easier for mothers to return to work after childbirth and to encourage fathers to take more of their parental leave so that mothers and fathers can share childcare duties more evenly. The Swedish government believes that, by encouraging the families to share parental leave more equally, it will strengthen incentives for mothers to return to work and will contribute to reducing the gender pay gap.

Gender Equality Plans Choose translations of the previous link 
Finland, 1995

Since 1995, Finnish employers with at least 30 employees have had to draw up a Gender Equality Plan each. The plans are closely monitored by the Ombudsman for Equality, which has given awards to the best ones several times. They enable employers to share knowledge about equality planning and show them how they can improve their organisations’ image.

There have been awards for good planning processes up until 2004. Each time, there was a press conference was held and the company benefited from a lot of publicity several years afterwards. After the 2005 reform of gender equality legislation, under which the standards for equality plans were made more detailed, it has been very difficult to find any plans to give an award to.

A number of minimum standards for the plans were introduced in 2005. These are that the plans must be prepared with employees, they must include an assessment of gender equality in the workplace and they must include pay comparisons and the analysis of pay differentials between men and women (compulsory) as well as provide an analysis of how successful the employers have been in implementing the previous plan. If the Ombudsman thinks that a plan that has been sent in has shortcomings, it can then give guidance and ask the company to send in a new plan. If the new plan still has shortcomings, it can give more concrete guidance and may visit the workplace and discuss particular issues with employers and employees. The plans cover areas such as the recruitment procedure, the employment of women and men in different jobs, career progress, working conditions, personnel training, reconciliation of work and family life, attitudes to gender equality as well as occupational safety and health.

Gepetto Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2001

Gepetto (Garde d’Enfant Pour l’Equilibre du Temps professionnel, du Temps familial et son Organisation – Childcare for a balance between working life, family life and its organisation) is a childcare system for children between 0 and 13 years of age provided at families’ homes at times when no other facilities can meet the childcare requirement. It was designed mainly to assist parents working in sectors with unsocial working hours such as catering, hotels, retailing, intermittent workers in show-business, and public transport workers. It also concerns parents who travel for work, or who have to look after sick children (turned away from a nursery or who cannot go to school), or a breakdown in the usual childcare mode (nursery closed, child-minder sick or absent …). Gepetto complements the other childcare modes that already exist: nurseries, approved child-minders, non-residential leisure centres, after-school care. This mode of childcare is available 7 days a week, day and night at the parents’ home. The work is carried out by childcare professionals (kindergarten teachers, early childhood workers and people with a certificate of professional competence in child-minding). Gepetto aims to recruit professionals qualified to look after young children, and guarantees them a certain level of pay and inclusion in a collective labour agreement. Several Gepetto franchises have been opened in France, covering eight départements of France, in the north, east and south of the country. They constitute the Gepetto network, but operate independently and under different names.

GlaxoSmithKline Choose translations of the previous link 

In 2009, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Slovakia was given a special award by the Slovak Ministry for Family Affairs for its long-term contribution to family-friendly policies. GSK’s main business is to research, develop and promote pharmaceutical products and vaccines. It is one of the top 500 global companies with workforce of more than one hundred thousand people. One hundred and fifty of them work in Slovakia, out of which 50 are based in the Bratislava office. GSK Slovakia also has flexible working time arrangements. In terms of family policy, women returning to work (from all the departments apart from medical representatives who visit clients) can work from home. They can also be gradually phased back into work.

Global Provision of Services of CAF Morbihan Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2005

Since 2005, the Morbihan Caisse d’Allocations Familiales [Family Allowance Fund] (CAF) in France has been facing the challenge of providing the department’s users with a different and unique service. The policies implemented are based on the payment of financial benefits and on social action targeted at families, thereby contributing to stability for families and their children and supporting them during times of hardship.  This strategy of assisting families is known as the “global provision of services”. The aim is to provide global and appropriate responses to the diversity of situations and needs of beneficiaries and to develop solidarity with the most vulnerable families.

Golden Dummy Prize Choose translations of the previous link 
Sweden, 2003

Parents in Sweden are entitled to a combined total of 480 days’ of parental leave. But as Shadé Jalali, Equality Specialist at the trade union Unionen explains, “it is mostly women who take advantage of it. And therefore it is mostly women that lose out in their career, that take pay cuts, while their husbands progress up the career ladder”.

Unionen, a trade union for professionals in the private sector, wanted to do something about this. “We noticed that a lot of our members are being let go because of having a baby”, says Jalali. “So – do we make a blacklist? Or do we instead find a way that means other companies are inspired to do good things?”

Unionen opted for the latter, in 2003, by launching its Golden Dummy (Guldnappen) prize to identify family-friendly companies and to encourage others to follow their examples. Since then, the Golden Dummy has been awarded on a yearly basis to one of Unionen’s 65,000 member companies. In 2009, silver and consolation dummy prizes were added. Each year has a different theme: in 2009, the theme was “Leadership”, focusing on equality within management, while the 2010 theme is “Borderless parenthood”. Evaluators will be looking at how flexible workplaces are, for example whether employers take into account children’s daycare hours or special circumstances such as children falling sick.

Hewitt Associates Choose translations of the previous link 
Poland, 2007

Since 2007, mothers employed by Hewitt Associates, a consultancy and HR outsourcing company in Poland, have been able to take four weeks of extra paid leave, in addition to the legal minimum of 20 weeks of maternity leave. The condition is that they must take the leave straight after their maternity leave ends. Instead of the four weeks of paid leave, they can also opt for a bonus of four weeks of pay if they come back to work straight away. Fathers can take two weeks of paid leave straight after their paternity leave has finished but cannot claim a bonus instead. “We’re very pleased to see that lots of employees have come back to work after their maternity leave, as opposed to claiming the parental leave,” said Human Resources adviser Monika Bar.

Hewlett Packard Choose translations of the previous link 
Slovakia, 2009

Hewlett Packard (HP) Slovakia won a national family-friendly employer award in 2005 for an overall package of measures. HP is a global provider of IT infrastructure, personal computing and imaging and printing products employing over 320,000 people and operating in over 170 countries. HP Slovakia can offer employees teleworking, flexible working, flexible maternity or parental leave and a company crèche. It has flexible working times so that employees can start work any time between 7am and 9am and leave between 4pm and 6pm. This would mean that those starting at 7am would finish at 4pm and those starting at 9am would leave at 6pm.

IKEA Choose translations of the previous link 
Germany, 2005

Back in 2005, Ikea Germany began opening crèches near its local offices to fit the working hours of its 13,981 employees (62% of whom are women). The home furnishing company took this step because Germany suffers from a shortage of childcare facilities, especially for children under three years of age. “If they do exist, they usually close at around 4pm, which is no good for Ikea employees who often work until 8pm,” said Xenia Mohr, Diversity Manager for Labour Law & Social Affairs at Ikea Germany. The facilities are located near the Ikea stores, have long opening hours (from 6am to 9pm Monday to Saturday) and do not close for holidays. The facilities are also open to the children of parents who are not Ikea employees.

Integrated Centre for Childcare Choose translations of the previous link 
Lithuania, 2005  - 2007

Since 1990, the number of childcare facilities in Lithuania has fallen from more than 1800 in 1990 to only 672 by 2008. The decline was particularly pronounced in rural areas, where they have been reduced from 805 to 183 (compared with a decline from 1003 to 489 in urban areas). A village kindergarten near Vilnius has shown that it is possible to reduce stress on parents and improve education and care for children by integrating several services in a single facility. Childcare facilities in Lithuania are normally open for between 10.5 and 12 hours per day for five days a week. The Peledziukas Kindergarten is located in a village nearby Vilnius and is run by the regional municipality. As most other kindergartens it has always provided both childcare and education services all day (07:00 to 17:30) for children from three to seven years old. Since 2005, through participation in the ‘FORWARD: Seima ir darbas suderinami (Family and Work Reconciliation Development)’ project funded under the EU’s EQUAL programme, the Peledziukas Kindergarten has extended its hours. It now remains open overnight from 17:30 to 07:00 in order to meet the needs (assessed by survey) of parents who work evenings or nights. These services have been taken up by around 20 families with children at the centre.

L'Oreal Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2006

L’Oréal, a world cosmetics leader, employs 67,000 people internationally and 12,000 in France. As part of its social policy in favour of mothers and fathers of young children, the company operates a number of schemes designed to meet the needs of staff seeking a better quality of life and a better balance between work and family life. The first element in the L’Oréal policy for parents is the network of inter-company crèches located close to its sites and that operate in partnership with other companies and public bodies.  All L''Oréal female employees on maternity leave also benefit from additional leave (known as “Schueller” leave after the company founder). This leave provides an extension of four weeks to the statutory maternal or adoption leave with wages paid in full by the company. L''Oréal also gives mothers and fathers of children aged under 12 years the option of benefiting from a scheme that enables them to take one, two, three or four Wednesdays off per month insofar as the organisation and operation of their service permits.

Latvian States Forests Choose translations of the previous link 
Latvia

Latvia’s States Forests (LVM), which is owned by the government, was awarded a Family Friendly Merchant certificate in 2007. LVM manages commercially usable state-owned forests and, alongside its forest management activities (including selling timber), it offers hunting and recreation facilities and obtains seeds and planting stock to ensure forest regeneration. Up until 2008, Family Friendly Merchant status was awarded to companies that had put into practice family-friendly measures for their employees and families or for families using their services (or both). LVM fulfils all the requirements prescribed by law, such as longer holidays for families with three and more children or with disabled children and ten days leave granted to fathers after the birth of a child. It also gives parents a day off on the 1st September (the start of school year) plus pays out allowances for child birth and the start of a child’s first school year. LVM also periodically organises events for employees with their families, such as sports days in the summer and excursions to leisure facilities. Children are also given Christmas presents such as tickets for the whole family to go to the theatre, the cinema or a circus.

Local Alliances for Families Choose translations of the previous link 
Germany, 2004

Local authorities, companies and social organisations have been working together since 2003 to develop family-friendly practices in a German government initiative called ‘Lokale Bündnisse für Familie’ (Local Alliances for Families). The initiative aims to address the lack of childcare and strengthen a family-friendly infrastructure at the local level by facilitating cooperation and exchange of experience between companies, social organisations and municipalities.

Local Babysitter Services Choose translations of the previous link 
Latvia, 2004

In 2004, the Latvian government launched an Action Plan on family policy, set to continue until 2013. A central feature of the strategy is to develop alternative child-care services in a local government framework. To this end, babysitter agencies were to be created in local municipalities, tasked with providing information to families on babysitter services that are available in their local areas.The city of Liepaja, on Latvia''s Baltic coast, is one of many in the country to face a significant lack of pre-school child care places. In 2008, there was a shortfall of 2,000 places – a number that is strikingly high for a city of about 90,000 inhabitants. The Liepaja Babysitters Agency, which was created in the framework of the national strategy to tackle the childcare shortage issue at local level helps to ensure that more families have better access to child-minding services, but also that parents do not have to bear all the expenses for quality services. The local government of Liepaja provides financial support to the agency, which depends to some extent on the level of local parents'' uptake of its services.

Magyar Telekom Choose translations of the previous link 
Hungary

Hungarian telecoms provider Magyar Telekom has a child raising programme to help employees with small children return to work and a family aid programme that supports Telekom employees as they enrol their children in day nursery and day care centres and childcare facilities for summer vacations. Employees can ask for advice, on an anonymous basis, to help them deal with problems in their private life or workplace problems in an employee consulting programme. Families of Magyar Telekom employees can also go on vacation to the company''s holiday centres, apply for school start support and take part in the company''s Family Day and sports programmes.

Micro-Creches Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2007

France is suffering from a severe shortage of crèche places for children under the age of three. In response, the government launched a plan designed to create between 200,000 and 400,000 new childcare places by 2012. One of the recommended solutions is Micro-crèches. These new structures are easy to set up, inexpensive and particularly welcome in rural areas. Two child carers, one working just a short distance from the other, can pool their efforts, select some premises, submit a file to the PMI (Protection Maternelle et Infantile - Mother and Child Protection) and very soon have their micro-crèche up and running. These micro-structures accept a maximum of nine children of less than six years of age and employ three staff with at least two years’ experience of working with very young children. They can also be set up by an association or local authority. These structures have existed since 2007.

Mom Friendly Company Award Choose translations of the previous link 
Poland, 2005

The ‘Mother friendly company’ award is the second phase of the ‘To have a child in Poland’ campaign, jointly organised by ‘Dziecko’, ‘Poradnik Domowy’ and the Humane Birth Foundation. Maria Kaczynska, the wife of Poland’s former president, is the patron of the campaign. The reason for it is the demographic situation in Poland, in which fewer children are born and fewer parents choose to have more then one baby. Its main aim is to single out and promote companies that help young women with motherhood while at the same time giving them an opportunity to fulfil their careers. The ‘Mother friendly company’ award is financed by the Agora company, one of the biggest media groups in Poland. It was launched in 2005 by the editorial departments of monthly publications ‘Poradnik Domowy’ (housekeeping) and ‘Dziecko’ (a magazine for parents), both of which are published by the company. Agora promotes long-term projects such as additional paid maternity leave, flexible work schedules, job-sharing, teleworking and flexible working arrangements when mothers return to work (working part-time and gradually increasing their work time).

Mother at Work Competition Choose translations of the previous link 
Poland, 2006

Polish companies can enter an annual competition from which they will gain feedback on what mothers think about the company. The ‘Mother at work’ competition is organised by the St Nicholas Foundation. It was set up in late 2006 to raise the standards in terms of how mothers are treated in the workplace, to help mothers better reconcile their working and family lives and to counter discrimination by employers and employees against female employees with children.

National Programme in Support of Motherhood Choose translations of the previous link 
Bulgaria, 2007  - 2009

The primary goal of the Programme in Support of Motherhood is to create conditions for improving employment prospects and career development for mothers of young children. Individual childcare from a registered unemployed person for the period of the maternity leave is provided, and when a mother is willing to return to her job before the end of the maternity leave, her child can be taken care of by an unemployed person. Under this scheme, the maternity leave benefits of the mother are in turn paid to the carer while the mother receives her salary. Target groups for the Bulgarian programme are people registered as unemployed with the labour office and mothers who are on maternity leave and are entitled to corresponding benefits. The mother has the right to choose the unemployed person who will take care of her child.

New Deal for Lone Parents Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 1998  - 2011

There are 1.84 million lone parents in Great Britain, with over 1 million of these in work. The majority of remaining lone parents can claim Income Support (the main income replacement benefit for lone parents) or other out of work benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance. Currently there are around 700,000 lone parents claiming Income Support and over half of them are unemployed. For the past twelve years, the British government has been trying to address this problem through the New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP) programme. It is a voluntary programme that aims to help and encourage lone parents to improve their job readiness and employment opportunities and gain independence through working. Those eligible to join the programme include all lone parents aged 16 or over whose youngest child is under 16, those who are not working, or are working less than 16 hours per week and receive Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance.

New Forms of Childcare Choose translations of the previous link 
Estonia, 2005

Queuing for childcare places is common in Estonia: nearly half of local governments report a shortage of kindergarten places. The available facilities for toddlers do not meet demand and are not flexible enough to satisfy the needs of mothers who – mostly working full-time – seek to manage work and family responsibilities. The Estonian Development Partnership “Children Taken Care of, Mothers at Work” does what its name indicates: creating new, alternative childcare services to enable young mothers to participate in the labour market. An additional aspect of the Estonian childcare situation was associated with childminders: when the “Children Taken Care of, Mothers at Work” project began in 2005, there were no professional childminders in Estonia. Also, there was no professional qualification system for childminders or an institution which could grant official certification. Establishing this missing link in the Estonian childcare system is a top policy priority: “The best ideas are those which help to solve several problems at once,” says Paul-Eerik Rummo, former Minister of Population and Ethnic Affairs. “By developing new flexible childcare opportunities, we will provide a supplementary incentive to the increase in births that is already underway in Estonia. At the same time we will improve the employment situation, particularly for women, and alleviate the risks related to the lack of qualified labour that threaten the country’s economic competitiveness. Our policies will create a new basis guaranteeing that families can cope financially and emotionally,” Mr Rummo says.

NGO Childcare Centre Open During School Holiday Choose translations of the previous link 
Cyprus

A childcare centre run by the Community Welfare Council Ergaton, in Nicosia, is one of the few NGO centres in Cyprus to stay open for children aged two to five during school holidays (from 7am to 7pm). Holiday care is difficult to find and the only other option is for parents to pay for more expensive private services. The facility is subsidised by the government but parents pay around €87 per month per child to use the centre. Exceptions can be made for parents in a difficult situation. There are two childcare staff for every 15 children. During term time, the centre looks after pre-school children (aged two to five) in the early mornings and in the afternoons from 12 noon until 6pm. On average, from 25 to 30 children attend during the summer holidays. Children are given an afternoon meal and supervised care. After lunch, many indoor and outdoor activities (e.g. arts and crafts, indoor and outdoor sport and music) are organised for them.

Nista Multimedia Campaign Choose translations of the previous link 
Malta, 2010  - 2012

Malta's public employment service, the Employment Training Corporation (ETC), is running a two-year multimedia campaign called 'Nista' to encourage more women to enter and remain in the labour market. The campaign runs from October 2010 until September 2012.  It is part of Malta's National Reform Programme under Europe's 2020 strategy and seeks to tackle the problem of gender stereotyping in Malta, whereby men tend to go to work while women tend to stay at home to look after the family. The partners are: the Malta Association of Women in Business, the European Social Fund Agency Flanders, the Prime Minister's Office, the National Family Commission, the Malta Federation of Industry, the Malta Employers Association and the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality.

Orange Choose translations of the previous link 
France, Slovakia, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Romania, 2010

Global telecoms and internet provider France Telecom Orange offers employees extra days off, on full pay, to look after their children when they are sick. The company offers six days off per year if their baby or child (under 12 years old) is sick and one more day off per year for each extra child. If both parents work at the company, together they can take up to a maximum of 12 days off per year to look after their sick child. Single parents can take up to 12 days off plus two extra days for each child. Parents do not need to give prior notice but can call up their manager on the day to say that their baby is sick.

Parenthood Charter Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2008

France’s Parenthood Charter was officially launched in April 2008 at the French Ministry for Labour, Social Relations, the Family and Solidarity. SOS Prema (which supports parents who have had premature babies), cosmetics company L’Oréal and human resources expert Jérôme Ballarin decided to set up the charter to encourage more and more companies to make commitments to help employees with families balance their work and family lives better. The actions in the charter cover four major areas: services to support employees’ daily lives (e.g. crèches in companies); financial support (e.g. benefit payments for employees); work organisation (e.g. part-time work, flexi-time, working from outside the office) and human resources and managerial support. Employers wanting to sign the charter can apply by filling in an online form on www.observatoire-parentalite.com setting out their existing and planned parenthood-friendly actions. There is no fee for signing up.

Phoenix Contact Choose translations of the previous link 
Germany, 1992

Phoenix Contact, a manufacturer of electric connection and industrial automation technology, has been offering its European and US employees a very flexible working time system since 1992. “It is good because it helps people organise their private lives better and we are convinced that that makes them more motivated to be successful in the company,” says Prof. Dr. Gunther Olesch, the Executive Vice president of Phoenix Contact. The company, which has 11,000 employees, has its headquarters in Blomberg, Germany, has four industrial plants in Germany, six plants and 47 sales subsidiaries outside Germany. Each employee has an electronic card which they use to check in and out of work. On average, under an agreement between the German employers and trade unions, an employee in this industry needs to work 35 hours per week. However, they can work zero hours one week and up to 48 hours (eight hours x six days, i.e. including Saturday) another week. At any given moment, an employee can have a maximum of +140 hours on their card (i.e. they owe the company 140 hours worth of work) and a minimum of -70 hours (i.e. the company owes them 70 hours of time off).

PricewaterhouseCoopers Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 2008

Fathers can take time off work and continue to be paid at PricewaterhouseCoopers Netherlands. In September 2008, the Dutch branch of the international auditing and consulting company introduced two measures particularly geared to helping fathers combine their working and family life. The first allows fathers to take up to ten fully paid days off to look after a newly born child. The one condition is that they must have taken the days off before the child is five months old. In case of female couples, this option is also available to the partner who is not the biological mother. Such an arrangement for partner''s leave is quite unique. In the first nine months of its existence, 176 parents used the fully paid paternity leave.

Promoting Paternal Parental Leave Choose translations of the previous link 
Sweden, 2002

Sweden has implemented several reforms to their parental leave policy, with the aim of increasing the sharing of parental leave among mothers and fathers. Since 1974, Swedish parents have been able to take up to six months of paid leave after the birth of a child under the country’s parental leave insurance. The pay was equivalent to 90-percent of the parent’s earnings or was set at a flat rate if the parent had no prior earnings. Initially, parents could share this leave time as they preferred (i.e., one parent could take six months leave, both parents could take three months leave, or some other combination adding up to six months). By the 1990s, the allotted time had been extended to twelve months paid leave based on earnings and an additional three months paid at a flat rate. From the mid-nineties through 2008, Sweden enacted several additional reforms to parental leave insurance aimed at encouraging more gender equality in leave time among fathers and mothers. In 1995, one month of leave was reserved for each parent (i.e., if a given parent chose not to use his or her month of leave, that month was forfeited and the other parent could take only eleven months of leave). In 2002, this reserved leave was extended to two months per parent. Also in 2002, however, the full amount of leave time was increased to sixteen months (thirteen months at the earnings-related rate plus three months at a flat rate). This implied that although an additional month was reserved for each parent, the other parent could still take up to fourteen months of leave (Duvander and Johansson, 2010).

Schlaraffia Choose translations of the previous link 
Germany, 2006

Since 2006, the mattress-manufacturing company Schlaraffia has been helping fathers and grandfathers in Wattenscheid deal with difficult family-related situations and has been making childcare leave for fathers more attractive through a ‘Fathers and Careers’ project. 140 of the 310 people employed at the Wattenscheid plant are men, of which 40 are fathers or grandfathers. Around 25 or so fathers or grandfathers have taken part in the project. “What we offer is also open to mothers,” said Karin Meder, the Workers’ Council Chairwoman.

TDC Choose translations of the previous link 
Denmark, 2009

TDC is Denmark’s largest telecoms operator, with activities throughout the Nordic region (Norway, Sweden and Finland). The company serves some 8.6 million domestic customers and employs 8000 people in Denmark alone. As one of the country’s largest companies, TDC recognises that it has responsibilities towards Danish society: customers and investors, but also its employees. A cornerstone of TDC’s corporate social responsibility is its focus on gender equality. In 2009, TDC joined the Danish Ministry for Employment and Department for Gender Equality''s ‘Charter for women in management’. The company’s CEO Henrik Poulsen has also been appointed an ‘Ambassador of Gender Equality’ by the Danish Industries Association and the Minister for Gender Equality.

The Employer Friendly to Family, Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Choose translations of the previous link 
Slovakia, 2000

Slovakia’s Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family set up a family-friendly business award in 2000 to recognise employers who create working conditions that take into consideration the family obligations of their employees. The award was created to give public awards to companies who give systematic attention to the reconciliation of work and family life. The project is funded by the department of gender equality and equal opportunities, which is part of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family.

Time Banks Choose translations of the previous link 
Italy, 1992

The Italian region of Emilia Romagna has set up a work and family life balance programme which aims to help young parents and families who have to look after disabled or elderly persons. The programme involves a range of different services adapted to the realities that face local families. They include day-care centres for children aged under three, vouchers for childcare time and allowances for parents who decide to stop working to look after their children for the first year after birth. The time banks project is part of this programme. This initiative works as a time exchange system where hours are used as a unit of measurement for local families to exchange services that support their everyday lives. Opening an account is free. Each new account holder “pays in” a certain number of hours to the bank, which are then made available to other members. In exchange for this debit, the account holders receive time credit equivalent to the amount paid in, and can then call on ad hoc services in line with their needs. The type of exchange varies greatly. The offered services include such tasks as taking a child to the library, providing household help for disabled persons, helping to obtain an administrative document or preparing a meal.

Total E-Quality Label Choose translations of the previous link 
Germany, 1997

Total E-Quality (TEQ), a non-profit association, aims to see more women in management roles by striving for better work-life balance, equal opportunities in personnel recruitment and development, and the institutionalisation of equal opportunities within organisations. TEQ seeks out and rewards “hidden champions”: companies or organisations whose human resource policies put equality into practice. The Total E-Quality label was first awarded in 1997, and has been endorsed by the federal government since 2001. To date, 299 organisations – employing well over 2 million people between them – have received the award, with a further 60 due to be awarded in 2010.

VauDe Choose translations of the previous link 
Germany, 2001

VauDe is an outdoor and mountaineering supplier specialising in the manufacture and distribution of outdoor equipment for activities such as hiking, rock-climbing, skiing and cycling. This family-owned company, which was founded in 1974, currently employs in Germany 520 employees, 67% of whom are women. VauDe works to implement the best possible family-friendly measures and tools. In 2001, VauDe opened its own company-level childcare centre, the Kinderhaus. Up to 30 children aged one to ten attend on a daily basis between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., all year round, either full or part-time. The centre takes in both children and grandchildren of the employees. For this corporate engagement, VauDe received the prize “Freiheit und Verantwortung (Freedom and Responsibility)”. Since the opening of the childcare centre, the number of births among the company''s employees has increased four-fold. Lunch is provided not only for children but also for parents if they wish to have lunch with them. The Kinderhaus also offers a range of parent-child activities. This saves parents from transporting their children to and from various activities.

Work and Family audit scheme Choose translations of the previous link 
Austria, 1998

The Austrian government set up its ‘Work and family audit’ scheme in 1998 to help companies create a family-friendly environment so that employers cater better for the family-related needs of employees. Under the scheme, companies can receive a ‘Work and family audit’ certificate. The Austrian Family Ministry sets the scope of the audit, and the regulations and compliance to be audited, while the state-owned enterprise ‘Familie und Beruf [Family and Job] Management GmbH’ runs the audit by, for example, training external freelance auditors. An auditor first identifies company needs through discussions with management and employees, leading to the establishment of a company plan, with goals to be achieved in a set period. In general, the process from time of application to receipt of the certificate takes no longer than six months. After three years, an external auditor assesses achievements and, if the assessment is positive, the company receives the certificate for another three years.

ZF Padova Choose translations of the previous link 
Italy, 2001

Italian legislation provides for maternity leave of up to four months after the birth of the child. During that period, mothers are paid their full salary, with 80% of it paid by the government and the remaining 20% by the company). They can then opt to take parental leave for a maximum of six months, but they are only paid 30% of their salary for that period. In order to promote a more equal sharing of responsibilities within families, the arrangements for fathers are more attractive – they can claim up to seven months of parental leave, for which the state pays them 70% of their salary. Since 2004, ZF Padova, the Italian plant of the German automotive industry supplier ZF has offered its employees with children an option to increase their income during parental leave. They can ask for money that has been paid in and set aside by the company for their severance pay to be paid out during this period of parental leave. This amount makes up the shortfall in their salary. So far, three women and one man have taken advantage of this option out of a total of around 240 employees with children. In total, ZF Padova employs around 360 people, of which 37 are women. Its parent company ZF has a workforce of some 61,000 employees and operates 125 plants in 26 countries. The policy is not the same for ZF globally as each plant applies its own rules. Since 2001, the company has allowed employees to plan their weekly working hours according to their personal needs. Employees do a maximum of 45 hours per week and can start any time between 6am and 9am as well as decide if they want to take a break of half an hour or an hour for lunch.

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