Family-friendly Certification of Enterprises: Marketing Hype or Real Change?

Hausarbeit, 2013

39 Seiten, Note: 1,3


Index of contents

Index of appendix

Overview of the topic
What are family-friendly policies?
Work-life balance
Family-friendly policies
Family-friendly policies in history
Family-friendly policies now
Family policies by the government
Family-friendly policies in enterprises and institutions

Data and findings
Audit and certification
Audit work and family
Process of the audit
Sphere of activities of the family and work audit
Audit family-friendly university of applied sciences Aschaffenburg
Auditing the university
Family friendly policies at the university

Survey results
Survey results of students and employees
Re-entry into the labor market
Professional training during parental leave
The importance of flexible working schedules
The importance of flexibility if the child gets sick
The importance of child care at work
The importance of financial support for child care by the enterprise
The importance of the possibility to work at home
Would men stay at home and raise the child/children?

List of references


Index of appendix

Chart 1: Replacement costs

Chart 2: Bridging operation costs

Chart 3: Occupational rehabilitation costs

Chart 4: Process of the family audit

Chart 5: Female and male professors and students

Chart 6: Re-entry into the labor market (Students)

Chart 7: Professional training during parental leave (Students)

Chart 8: How important is flexible working time (Students)

Chart 9: How important is it to re-entry the old job after parental leave (Students)

Chart 10: How important is flexibility if the child gets sick (Students)

Chart 11: How important is child care at work (Students)

Chart 12: How important is financial support for child care by the enterprise (Students)

Chart 13: How important is the possibility to work at home (Students)

Chart 14: If you are a man, would you stay at home and raise the children (Students)

Chart 15: Re-entry into the labor market (workforce)

Chart 16: Professional training during parental leave (Workforce)

Chart 17: How important is flexible working time (Workforce)

Chart 18: How important is it to re-entry the old job after parental leave (Workforce)

Chart 19: How important is flexibility if the child gets sick (Workforce)

Chart 20: How important is child care at work (Workforce)

Chart 21: How important is financial support for child care by the enterprise (Workforce)

Chart 22: How important is the possibility to work at home (Workforce)

Chart 23: If you are a man, would you stay at home and raise the children (Workforce)

Overview of the topic

What are family-friendly policies?

Work-life balance

Work-life balance or also called life-domains balance is the challenge to balance life and work at the same time. The “Rush-Hour of Life” is the stage of life when young people finish their education and are about to enter the labor market but also want to have a family or work on their relationship. Balancing several life domains like work, education, family, personal interests or the social life might cause issues and stress. Especially with families in who the man and the woman are both focused on their careers but also don’t want to neglect or spend less time with their children or friends and family. In that stage of life it’s optimal to work on a successful career but it also might be the perfect time to have children. A lot of changes like the increase of women’s participation in the labor market and the force to be flexible at work and available 24/7 due to the globalization of markets influence the decision. Gender differences in life-domains balance are shown in the fact that women deal with more family-to-job and job-to-family conflicts than men. These conflicts indicate stress and lead to the major issue of having less to no children in most European countries. As this being a societal issue, there is a need for structural measures like public childcare, financial measures like child-related subsidies or attitude-related measures like promoting the high value of children and multi-children families for our society.[1]

Family-friendly policies

To reduce family-to-job conflicts and creating the perfect life-balance situation the government and the companies decided to support families with supporting measures. For the economic growth and the globalization, the increase of women to enter the labor market is very important. In the European Union just 54 percent of all women have a job. In Germany it’s 60 percent but just 20 percent of women with infantile children work constantly. To anticipate the declining birth-rate economists recommend the enhancements of parents’ money, of day-care facilities for children, of all day-schools and of shortening the period of education.[2]

The seventh family record of federal government is showing the decrease of families with more than two children.[3] Women decide to displace the stage of reproduction because of work and that leads in a lot of cases to the renunciation of wanting children. In Germany there is also a time pressure concerning to the rush-hour of life between the age of 27 and 35. Graduation, career entry, decisions due to the life partner, marriage possibilities and the decision whether to have children requires huge considerations and planning.[4]

Family-friendly policies in history

Until 1950 and even longer the bourgeois family ideal showed an unemployed woman, even in a childless marriage. Words like “female earner” or “latchkey kid” were negative connotations concerning to the female mission statement.

The first changes came up in 1933, when the government started supporting housewives. Joseph Goebbels said in the magazine “Die Frau”: “The first, best, and the proper place, has the women in the family.”[5] – The government didn’t try to squeeze women away of the job market but at the same time the full housewife was supported completely. Women should work on housewives and mother duties in first place, and secondly be available to take jobs besides their main duties. Their traditional legal position was shaken in marriage and family since being a mother was kind of a political duty in national socialistic times.[6]

After campaigns against “double earners”[7] the working woman was supported with the start of war production in 1936. For example in 1937, just working women were able to get a wedding loan[8]. But the success of these sanctions just included the obligation of register and the obligation to work for women in 1943. The labor participation increased only from 14.5 million to 14.9 million during the war time because their husbands earned enough money on deployments in war.

The postwar period was mainly the land of women. Since most of men died in the 2nd World War, the population was built up of 70% women. Although these women worked hard to build up Germany, they wanted to go back to their position as housewives because that’s what they were used to and they wanted their life of normality back. Due to the professor Eva Kolinksy women missed the chance to go into politics and change something about their status, rights and lives.[9]

In the 50s single women were still discriminated and kind of forced to get married and live the usual family ideal. Then again, female earners were not accepted in companies as long as they were married.

In 1958 the government passed the law of equality of men and women. During the Adenauer times it was tried to cover the housewife marriage with laws like child allowance and maternity leave. Women were able to work part-time next without neglecting their mother and housewife duties. Studies in the early 60s and 70s showed that young women still had the family life as main part of life goals.[10]

Starting in 1986 women finally realized that just with the ability of having a job they can fight for their emancipation, but they were scared that they can’t compete against men. Changes came with divorces, single parenting and new job opportunities for women. Also the ambition of having a better lifestyle made women go to work.

Family-friendly policies now

Family policies by the government

The term family policy implies a policy of developing a general framework for the course of a lifetime in which family and family development can be practiced continuously.[11] In the seventh family record of federal government there is a difference between family compensation and family benefits: Family policy benefits, derived from the criterion of responsiveness and the living standards, aim to compensate for certain loads of parents, resulting from the birth and upbringing of children. These instruments can be grouped under the term equalization of family burdens. A further object of the governmental family policy is to compensate those benefits of education, care and education of children which are provided by families for society, but which are not compensated by the market. This one summarizes benefits as family benefits.[12]

The protection of the family is one of the fundamental rights of the Basic Law. Under Article 6 of the Basic arise for families both auxiliary and defensive claims against the state. Basically the German federal government is responsible for family policy. But Article 6 also obliges the states and local government to put the family under a special protection of the state. The provinces have the ability to supplement the federal policy requirements by their own benefits (e.g. state education money or starting a family loan. Through this self-responsibility of the states, the rules differ from state to state.

The guidelines of the Federal Constitutional Court

The Federal Constitutional Court decided several guidelines as clear agenda for family policies since 1990. One of them is that the maintenance expenses against taxable income of the family should be deducted at least equal to the minimum subsistence level and the state must also ensure that these minimum requirements cover all children’s needs. Another one is the “Trümmerfrauen decision” from 1992 which highlighted the disadvantages of parents with several children compared to the childless families or families with just a few children. The Federal Constitutional Court established the allowance of retirement pay when it comes to raising children.[13] In the “Childcare Decision” of 1998 the decision was made that the existing arrangements for single parents should be extended to the group of married parents. Therefore besides the childcare benefits, an upbringing allowance must be granted. The government is obligated to ensure those needs for all children like by increasing the child benefit or a comparable performance. Parents should be able to personal care for their children as well as the balance of upbringing and employment possibilities. The government must also create conditions that taking care of family educational tasks is not leading to job-related disadvantages, that a return to the professional life as well as balancing the education of children and the job for both parents is secured.[14] “This is also an effective contribution to the protection of unborn life.”[15]

Family policy at the federal level

In Germany parents get child allowance for every child to the age of 25 as long as they are in school. The first two children get 184 €, the third gets 190 € and every extra child gets 215 €.[16]

Parents can factor every child into their income taxes, so called child tax allowance. For every child the government decided to put 7008 € tax free.[17]

Another law is that pregnant women can’t be fired. They also can’t be fired within the first 16 weeks after they gave birth. Pregnant women get their full income within the time they stay at home which is six weeks before they give birth and eight weeks after they give birth to ensure their financial security. Every employer has to make sure not to endanger the pregnant women while working and not bring them in contact with any chemicals or other hazardous materials. They are also not allowed to work more than 8.5 hours a day or do any extra work when it comes to Sundays or nightshifts.[18]

Another important factor for parents is the parental leave which allows both fathers and mothers to take care of upbringing and educating their children in the toddlerhood. Laws for parental leave recorded that fathers and mothers can take paternal leave upon attaining the child’s age of three years. They can also take the leave separated or at the same time. During the leave parents are not forced to work, but if they want to, they are allowed to work part time up to 30 hours a week. If the parents want to educate themselves while they are on leave, the enterprises they work for, does not have to take the financial costs and parents have to bear the expenses. Whoever is taking the parental leave is also not warranted to get their old job position back but another one on equal terms.[19]

Child sick pay is a benefit by the statutory health insurance and is applied when a parent is not able to go to work because the child is sick. The condition to get that benefit is that the child concerned is not older than 12 years, nobody else can take care of it and a medical report must be existent. The entitlement to insurance benefits persists for every child no longer than 10 days, for single parents it isn’t longer than 20 days.[20]

Family-friendly policies in enterprises and institutions

An analysis of ten family friendly enterprises showed that companies can make more money if they have a work-life balancing system. Costs of reoccupation, shortening of absence time of the parents and reduction of reintegration costs after parental leave can be quantified.[21] Family-friendly policies are a part of human resources planning in enterprises. A lot of companies have problems of recruiting qualified employees and executives. Besides training junior employees and young workers, enterprises put their focus on the reconcilability of work and family duties. Especially the capability of trained female workers can be activated and saved. Family-friendly policies are therefore an advantage in competition if it comes to winning qualified employees. Work-life balance is a huge topic in society, since young adults have the desire to become parents and more fathers want to take part in upbringing children, but still companies see the difficulties indeed, but don’t really work on their policies in personnel planning.[22]

Relevant topics when it comes to family-friendly enterprises are amongst other things:

- Mixed teams in companies: The contingent of women in the workforce is appealing. “Diversity management is one of the most important tasks, not just because it’s political correct but because it’s socially and related to business inevitable.” says Daimler’s head of business. There are no significant studies that more women in the workforce lead to more success in enterprises, but there aren’t studies either which argue the converse.[23]

- The planning of covering inactive periods due to parental leave with replacement workers helps enterprises to keep up the work without any disadvantages. It’s also good to inform the affected employees about their rights and duties during parental leave. Companies should have all information someone needs when it comes to having a baby. How much money they get or how long they can take leave, are important tasks, soon-to-be parents need to know. Just if parents are comfortable with their situation, they return to work earlier and with more motivation.[24] Not just expectant mothers should have the opportunity to be supported by their company. Men also need to know that their role as father has to be equated. Sensitizing executives and companies for the topic “fathers” might not be easy but it’s a fundamental point in establishing life-work balance measures. Men must feel that it’s accepted in their company to take care of work and family at the same time.[25] During the leave time companies should ensure that absent worker stay in touch with their team. The motto “Out of sight out of mind” leads to suspending of all relevant people when it comes to making important decisions and new projects. It’s important to stay in contact with co-workers and team leaders to bring themselves up to date. To fight mobbing by co-workers is also relevant. Parental leave is often taken to get the position of others and to get rid of them. Especially in jobs with flexible work time mothers and fathers are exposed to negative comments about parental responsibilities.[26]

- The arrangement of working schedules is an important factor for employees. Motives for such measures can be good for keeping or winning qualified workers, keeping or raising the satisfaction of the workforce and increasing the productivity. With planning the time schedules, enterprises have to consider several types. One type is counting in family time. Meetings and working time should be during the time children are in school or in child care. Parents should get leave during school vacation and on holidays, so they can spend quality time with their family. Another type would be part-time schedules so parents can reduce labor time, especially during the toddlerhood of their children. Due to the extenuated time of work, parents can choose if they want to work shorter shifts or on less days a week. The third part which has to be considered is the flexibility. Both flexible time and flexible location of work can help parents to balance work and family. If the presence is not required, enterprises should think about installing special IT systems, so the employees can get their work done at home or at other places.[27]


[1] (Lothaller, 2009)

[2] (Siems, 2007)

[3] (Bundesregierung, 2006)

[4] (Bundesregierung, 2006, S. 33-34)

[5] (Schönweiss & Mühlfeld, 1989)

[6] (Czarnowski, 1991)

[7] (Niewerth, 2003)

[8] (Kolinsky, 1989)

[9] (Pfau-Effinger, 2000)

[10] (Unbekannt, Familie und Beruf Eine deutsche Geschichte, 2002)

[11] (Bundesregierung, 2006, S. 29)

[12] (Bundesregierung, 2006, S. 56)

[13] (Sans, 2002)

[14] (Der Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband, 2002)

[15] (Sans, 2002)

[16] (Bundesministerium der Justiz , Gesetze im Internet)

[17] (Bundesministerium der Justiz , Gesetze im Internet)

[18] (Bundesministerium der Justiz , Gesetze im Internet)

[19] (Bundesministerium der Justiz , Gesetze im Internet)

[20] (Bundesministerium der Justiz , Gesetze im Internet )

[21] (Institut für Mittelstandsökonomie an der Uni e.V., Zeitzeichen - Informationsstelle für eine chancengerechte Arbeitswelt)

[22] (Bundesministerium für Familie, Familienfreundlichkeit als Erfolgsfaktor für die Rekrutierung und Bindung von Fachkräften, 2008, S. 3-4)

[23] (Knauß, 2012)

[24] (Barthels, 2007)

[25] (Lazai, Kaltenhäuser, Dellbrügge, & Hübler)

[26] (DPA, 2008)

[27] (Bundesministerium für Familie, Beruf und Famile, 2011, S. 6-12)

Ende der Leseprobe aus 39 Seiten


Family-friendly Certification of Enterprises: Marketing Hype or Real Change?
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Janine Blomeier (Autor:in), 2013, Family-friendly Certification of Enterprises: Marketing Hype or Real Change?, München, GRIN Verlag,


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