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 Labour Market Consensus – Innovative Model of Vocational Activation of Women
Project number G0403

Project description

The Development Partnership was established to work out innovative model solutions that would help people raising children to reintegrate with the labour market. The Project is intended to enable women to reenter the labour market after a break for giving birth and baby care, as well as to assist them in occupational reintegration while on maternity or parental leave. The Project was designed as a proposal to work out joint solutions that would be equally satisfactory to female workers - young mothers - and employers.

Surveys made by the Partnership under Activity 1 and consultations with employees, employers, kindergarten and nursery workers, local government officials, labour market institutions and parents on maternity and parental leaves revealed that in order for the employment opportunities of mothers to be enhanced, activities should focus directly on occupational integration of beneficiaries, while providing them with flexible employment arrangements (i.e. part time working, job sharing, performing some of the tasks at home, tele-working, etc.) in cooperation with employers. It is also important to develop and test children care solutions that are tailored to the needs of working parents.

The Development Partnership embarked on the following occupational integration activities for women: (a) to design and deliver a training system targeted at development of specific skills expected by the employers; (b) to host a series of meetings and seminars intended to develop enterprise attitudes among women and raise their awareness of the need to improve vocational skills; (c) to ensure access to psychological, legal and vocational counseling, so that women facing serious problems with reconciliation of family and occupational activities are provided with help; (d) to launch a portal with information about the labour market status of parents (and young mothers in particular), legal aspects of young mothers hiring, flexible employment schemes and innovative approaches to child care; (e) to establish a job exchange for parents on parental leaves.

The activities targeted at employers included the following: (a) to get the "Parents-friendly Company" Award established. The title will be awarded to companies following family-friendly policies in their enterprises; (b) to host an open contest for Parents-friendly Company; (c) to develop and deliver training events to employers expressing interest in introducing innovative organisational arrangements that would enable employees to reconcile career and family responsibilities; (d) to host a series of meetings and seminars presenting benefits from employing female workers, opportunities from alternative employment schemes and other arrangements enabling women to reconcile career and family life; (e) to write a report on Polish and Community legislation with a review of possibilities for applying flexible employment arrangements by Polish employers.

Institutional child care activities are: (a) to promote innovative child care arrangements; (b) to develop and test a conceptual plan and promote neighbourhood play groups; (c) to host workshops for fathers; and (d) to deliver workshops enabling young mother to resume professional career and their children to integrate themselves with a group of peers.

The innovative solutions are expected to affect favourably also occupational status of those women, who encounter career and maternity reconciliation problems, although they have not opted for a full paternal leave. The final beneficiaries will be involved in evaluation and development of the Project. An opinion poll and a forum will be available to users at DP's website to get comments from the participants and all those interested in the subject. A questionnaire to be completed by final beneficiaries will contribute to the evaluation of the Project.

International cooperation is expected to result in development of a joint strategy of lobbying for arrangements helping to reconcile career and family life. Dissemination of good practice and its inclusion into mainstream policies will be achieved by dissemination of information materials, conferences, seminars and contests held, as well as through cooperation with policy-making institutions of the local, regional, national and Community level.