Familiengipfel: for a family friendly economy, it needs more than flexible working hours

[13. 3. 2013] The AGF comments on the Familiengipfel of the German Federal Government with a press release, stating that there remains still a lot to be done to realize a family friendly ecomony. Further information follow here.

Regarding the recent Familiengipfel of the German Federal Government, the AGF points out that there remains still a lot to be done until a family friendly economy is realized. There is a lack of concern regarding the living circumstances of families, of child care supply and of participation. Flexible working hours are therefore not a sufficient solution. Instead, a new economic philosophy in companies and a good legal basis are necessary.

“The expectations of families and companies differ widely very often. Many employers praise their modells of flexible working hours, flexitime and mobile/home office work. But they lose sight of the fact that more flexibility does not automatically lead to more family friendliness. What families need is a shift in the companies’ culture and philosophy, regarding family tasks not as a cause of trouble but as enrichment and a fact of diversity”, declares the president of the AGF, Dr. Klaus Zeh. “Hidden behind flexible working schedules is often the old expectation of improving the availability of emploees – not of improving their participation regarding workplace and arrangement of working hours, which is important for families”.

Too often, a good performance at work is measured by the length of working hours and the length of a working day. Together with a shortage of child care supply, this leads to serious disadvantages for  employees with a family in the background, especially when working part time and despite of their personal commitment. But a growing number of mothers and fathers are not satisfied with ther personal amount of work and wish for a better participation, where length and arrangement of working hours are concerned.  

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