Familie & Beruf Management GmbH - Information in English

The reconciliation of family and working life is not only one of the most pressing issues in Austrian family policy, it also remains a central topic for employed parents and employers alike. More and more stakeholders recognize the importance of finding more effective solutions and ways to support employees and employers faced with this issue.


In 2006 the Familie & Beruf Management GmbH was established by law to coordinate and facilitate family-friendly measures taken on a national level. The Familie & Beruf Management GmbH is a non-profit state-owned enterprise, which means the Republic of Austria, in this case represented by the Minister of Family Affairs, owns 100 percent of the company. Its main services are audit processes helping companies, universities and communities to evaluate and implement family-friendly measures in order to create and promote a more family-oriented work and life environment. In 2017, the Familie & Beruf Management GmbH established a comprehensive online presence, relaunching its website and launching profiles on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn as well as starting a monthly newsletter (reaching around 1.500 recipients). With these online tools the company reaches an audience of about 180.000 users. The website www.familieundberuf.at has had more than 43.000 visits in 2017.

Services offered by the Familie & Beruf Management GmbH

Audit workandfamily

One of the company’s main services, the audit process workandfamily, assists companies in creating a family-friendly environment, which benefits both employer and employee. The audit process workandfamily is rooted in the American Family Friendly Index. The German berufundfamilie GmbH developed the audit into the so-called “European work & family audit” to ensure its spread in Europe and issues licenses for national use. In Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery is the current license holder.
 

The audit workandfamily is a management tool that aims to optimize family-friendly corporate policies in order to strike a good balance between entrepreneurial interests and the needs of employees when developing and implementing a family-friendly strategy for the company. In workshops, attended by both the employer and representatives of the employees, the family-friendly measures already existing within the company are reviewed, the demand for further development is assessed and new family-friendly measures tailored to the needs of the employees are developed. The family-friendly measures are implemented in selected fields of action:
 

  • working hours

  • place of work

  • work organization

  • communications policy (required)

  • management culture (required)

  • human resource development

  • payment in kind

  • services for families

  • parenthood, parental leave and re-entry
     

Examples of implemented family-friendly measures:
 

Working hours/ Place of work

  • job-sharing/top-sharing

  • flexible working hours

  • sabbaticals

  • telework

  • social security for employees working from home

  • home office and telecommuting solutions
     

Parenthood, parental leave, re-entry

  • “gentle” return to work after parental leave by offering short hours in part-time position

  • the option of working during parental leave

  • parental leave for fathers

  • taking father’s wishes for part-time work into consideration

  • occupational skills training during parental leave (active training offerings to employees on parental leave)

 

Payment in kind

  • free meals for employees (also to take home)

  • free snacks/beverages during breaks, fruits

  • meal vouchers if there is no in-house cafeteria or canteen

  • business mobile may be used for private purposes

 

Services for families

  • bring children to work in case of emergency

  • financial benefits from the employer on certain family–related occasions

  • household help, ironing service, child care

  • support in nursing or care for elderly, ill or disabled family members

  • workplace nursery

  • play corners for kids in the office
     

Based on the outcome of the workshops an agreement of objectives is drafted and signed by the company.

 

The audit can be carried out in enterprises of all business lines and sizes (five employees or more) as well as all legal and corporate forms as long as they have their headquarter in Austria. The entire enterprise or parts thereof can be audited. During the audit process, the companies are assisted by trained management consultants (licensed auditors) and experts. The complete audit process takes three years. Having signed the agreement of objectives, the company is awarded the basic state certificate “Audit berufundfamilie” by the Federal Minister or State Secretary in charge of family affairs. Once the company has obtained the basic certificate, annual interim reports have to be provided to document the progress of implementing the determined family-friendly measures. After a period of three years during which the agreed upon family-friendly measures are implemented, the company receives the first full state certificate “Audit berufundfamilie”, which is valid for three years. After three years, the company may choose to do the re-audit.
 

Public subsidies

Subsidies are based on the number of employees (gross for net)

  • 5-20 employees: € 5,000

  • 21-100 employees: € 4,000

  • More than 101 employees: € 3,000
     

Up until now more than 450 Austrian companies have participated in the audit workandfamily and are state-certified family-friendly employers. That means that around 315,000 employees have already benefited from family-friendly measures, assessed and developed during the audit process workandfamily. In 2017 alone, 91 companies and universities in Austria decided to participate in the audit workandfamily, a new record.
 

A list of certified family-friendly companies is available at www.familieundberuf.at/services/familymap
 

Benefits from being a family-friendly employer
  • Employee motivation increases by 11 percent

  • Turnover decreases by 10 percent

  • Parental leave is shorter (by 9 percent)/ employees are more likely to return

  • Less sick-days (23 percent less than the average)

  • Employee’s loyalty to the company increases

  • Productivity increases by 12 percent
     

Source: www.familieundberuf.at/sites/familieundberuf.at/files/presse/2012/15851/studie_vereinbarkeit_v.f_b_in_oe_unternehmen_1_.pdf
 

Audit universityandfamily

The audit process universityandfamily is specifically designed to assist universities in creating a family-friendly environment for students and staff alike. The procedure is quite similar to the audit workandfamily. After signing an agreement of objectives, the university is then awarded with the basic state certificate “Audit hochschuleundfamilie” by the Federal Minister of Family Affairs. After a period of three years during which the agreed upon family-friendly measures are implemented, the university receives the full state certificate “Audit hochschuleundfamilie”. Up until now 27 universities and institutions of higher education have participated in the audit universityandfamily; that means around 176,000 students have benefited from family-friendly measures.

Audit familyfriendlycommunity

The audit process familyfriendlycommunity helps Austrian communities and municipalities to create a more family-friendly environment for their citizens. In workshops the family-friendly measures already existing within the community are reviewed and the demand for further development is assessed. Once the municipality council votes to undergo the audit, the process begins. After approximately six months, the communities are awarded the basic state certificate “Audit familienfreundlichegemeinde” by the Federal Minister of Family Affairs. Upon receiving the basic certificate, the communities have three years to implement the agreed-upon family-friendly measures. After successful completion, the communities receive the full state certificate, which is valid for three years.

Up until now, more than 460 Austrian communities have participated in the audit familyfriendlycommunity. That means that around 2.4 Million people have benefited from family-friendly measures, assessed and the developed during the audit process familyfriendlycommunity. In 2017 alone, 78 communities and 3 regions in Austria decided to participate in the audit familyfriendlycommunity, a new record.

Unternehmen für Familien

In 2015, the Austrian Minister of Families and Youth founded the network “Unternehmen für Familien”, which aims to connect Austrian companies in their efforts to raise awareness of the importance of having a strong family-friendly corporate culture. Through regular events and meetings the network strives to strengthen the family-friendly business community in Austria. Network partners are given the opportunity to learn from one another and to act as good practices for others. Around 500 partners are active in the network. For more information please visit www.unternehmen-fuer-familien.at

Staatspreis “Familie & Beruf”

Every two years the Federal Minister of Family Affairs awards companies and institutions for their outstanding achievements in regards to promoting a family-friendly corporate culture with the Austrian State Award Familie & Beruf. To be eligible for the award the companies must be a partner of the network “Unternehmen für Familien” and must place among the top three in the preceding competitions held in the participating federal states. For more information please visit www.familienfreundlichsterbetrieb.at