The right family-work balance is one of the most significant challenges Austrian family policy is currently faced with. It is a priority for young people to have a family whilst at the same time, it is also important for them to advance in their careers. Studies have shown that there is a clear gap between the wish to have children and the actual number of children that are born. Much has been done and achieved in family policies in the past few years to make it easier for couples to make their wishes for children materialise.
A number of legislative measures were taken to optimize the balance between family and work, e.g. the introduction of a legal provisions that allow for additional income while child care allowance is received, the crediting of child-rearing periods to pensionable years, more flexible parental leave until the child starts school, and the right to part-time work for parents, which was introduced in 2004.
The Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth also subsidises a number of societal and particularly awareness-raising measures designed to support mothers and father in their jobs, which are managed and operated by the “Familie & Beruf Management GmbH”. The FBG was founded as a part of the project “Vereinbarkeitsmaßnahmen von Familie und Beruf anhand des Modellprojekts einer nationalen Koordinierungsstelle“, which was launched to coordinate measures for family-work balance in a national department. Therefore the project was funded by the European Commission.
Specific projects operated by the FBG are the "Work and Family Audit" which enterprises can run in-house to glean economic benefits from family-friendly measures, “University and Family Audit” which is specifically elaborated for the family-friendly demands of students and employees, or the State Award “Most Family-Friendly Enterprise” in which prizes are awarded to undertakings for their innovative efforts to create women- and family-friendly work environments.
The “Family-Friendly Community” audit is an offering specifically addressed to villages, market towns and cities aiming to identify existing familie-friendly measures in these communities and to drive further development. The towns and villages participating are awarded a quality label by the Family Ministry upon completion of the audit. Initiatives for needs-based child care, intra-company child care and day parent training are also fostered.