Nov 05

Family and Work Project

The Slovak government says it is aware of the impact of parenthood on the employment of men and women and the gender gap that exists here. The employment of women with children up to six years of age is below 40 percent compared with 83 percent in the case of men. The shortage of available and affordable child care is a leading cause.

“From the viewpoint of flexible forms of work and the harmonisation of family and work life there still exist in Slovakia, in spite of legislative conditions, significant shortcomings,” Michal Stuška, spokesman of the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs, told The Slovak Spectator. “Only a small number of employers use flexible forms of work, and Slovakia ranks in the long term among EU countries with the lowest share of employees working a short time, while flexible work forms are proving to be decisive when harmonising family and work life in the case of parents, especially mothers with pre-school children.”

This is the reason why the ministry began to prepare a national project, Family and Work, which aims to facilitate the harmonisation of family and work life.

“The pilot project should not only help to create innovative forms of services of child care but also to encourage employers to introduce flexible forms of work and employment of parents, especially women with pre-school age children,” said Stuška.

Within the project the ministry has prepared two main activities: support for the creation of various forms of child care via refunding personal costs of nursemaids, and support for flexible work forms such as short-time work contracts, telecommuting or home office, shared work place and others, while those workplaces at which the employer hires a woman with pre-school children or a parent returning from maternity leave will receive support. In this case, a significant portion of labour costs will be covered by the programme.

The project, which will last through December 2015, will get €23 million from EU funds and support employers across Slovakia, except the Bratislava Region, which is excluded from the project. The ministry plans to publish the invitation to join the project in November.

Whole article: http://spectator.sme.sk/articles/view/55240/19/work_life_balance_key_to_motivating_workers.html