Network G Reconciling family and professional life, as well as the reintegration of men and women who have left the labour market, by developing more flexible and effective forms of work organisation and support services.
Project name Mother-Employee – Professional Development of Women during Parental Leave
Project number G0620

Project description

The Development Partnership was established with a view in working out a comprehensive strategy of actions helping to reconcile career and family responsibilities. The activities started under the Project are intended to facilitate labour market reentry of young parents by establishing a model of flexible employment and distance working arrangements.

Due to the rapid changes occurring at the labour market of today, the skills of parents on childcare leave tend to fall into obsolescence, so that their labour market opportunities are impaired. There are only incidental cases of successful resuming and keeping of a position held prior to parental leave.

Surveys made under Activity 1 revealed that an integrated system of support to households, based on cooperation between employers, trade unions, mass media, labour offices and research/ training institutions is required in order to prevent discrimination of young mothers on the labour market.

In an attempt to work out instruments helping young parents to continue a professional career without sacrificing their family life, the Development Partnership has embarked on the following activity areas: (a) to develop flexible employment and distance working arrangements; (b) to test arrangements enabling distance working or other flexible employment schemes; and (c) to create a comprehensive system of solutions in the area of flexible employment and distance working rules under inter-sectoral partnership model.

A preliminary model of support to flexible employment arrangements and distance working was developed under Activity 1. The model contains a set of interrelated IT, organisational, financial and logistic solutions. The second stage of the Project will involve testing of this theoretical model by providing standard contracts for flexible employment arrangements made according to the provisions of the Polish labour law. It is expected that the standard contracts will ensure that the rights of those entering flexible employment arrangements, especially those on parental leave, are respected. Moreover, economic, legal, technical and psychological aspects of such employment arrangements will be subject to monitoring.

An Intersectoral Partnership will be established to develop a comprehensive system of flexible employment and distance working arrangements. The Partnership will involve a broad consultation body based on forums and workshops. Employers, employees, representatives of local communities, local and regional government administration, scientists and business people will be the forum users. The objective of the Intersectoral Partnership is to promote the implementation of alternative employment arrangements. This Partnership will operate alongside of the Development Partnership.

The key objective of the Development Partnership is to elaborate the final version of the model. It will contain tested economic, IT, organisational, legal and psychological solutions explaining to employers how to introduce flexible employment and distance working arrangements for people on parental leaves. Proposals for use and application of the tested solutions will be presented. The final model will contain information collected throughout the Project, at meetings of forums and workshop groups, as well as analyses made by Project experts. A guide of employers and those on parental leave will be an additional outcome of the Project. The guide will contain practical information on how to enter into contract made between employer and employee, while considering employee's family responsibilities.

Final beneficiaries will participate in the creation and modification of the Project work plan. Their involvement will include pro-active participation in the meetings of the Partnership Council. They will be able to voice their views on all issues of importance to the Partnership and the Project, submit their proposals and comments. In addition, the beneficiaries will have an opportunity to evaluate the activities during the workshops, at monitoring meetings and through Project website.

The outcomes of the Project will be disseminated to employees, employers from the public and private sectors, trade unions, women's organisations, local and central government officials at conferences, workshops and meetings.