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Reconciliation of family and work

Family is a priority for young people, but it is also important that they are successful in their profession. Therefore reconciliation of work and family life is a policy priority and Austria furthers it with financial and non-financial measures.

Austria has a wide range of financial benefits - which are paid by the Family Burden Equalisation Fund - and non-financial measures. The main financial benefits are family allowance and childcare allowance.

Concerning reconciliation of family and work child care is also an important matter. Over the last few years there have been several initiatives in Austria to increase the availability of child care facilities to meet family demands (i.e. opening up a number of child care places as well as adjusting opening hours). The aim is to reach the Lisbon targets in each age group and region and to improve child care quality.

Besides legislative measures there are also a number of societal and awareness-raising measures designed to support mothers and fathers in their jobs.

Known as best practices are the audit schemes: especially the "audit familyfriendlycommunity ", initiated to support Austrian communities and municipalities to further develop their child- and family-friendliness and the “audit workandfamily”, which assists companies in creating a family-friendly environment.
To meet special needs of further different target-groups, the “audit universityandfamily” was introduced in 2011, the “audit workandfamily” for the Health and Care Sector and the “audit workandfamily compact” for small and medium-sized businesses were introduced in 2013.

Another measure in this field is the State Award “Familie und Beruf”, which takes place every second year. Enterprises with innovative efforts to create family-friendly work environments can apply for the Award.

Since 2012 the “workandfamily-Index” - a scientific instrument – helps companies to measure the family friendliness of their enterprise.

In the same year, the Charta “reconciling family and work” was completed as a public commitment to the relevance of family-friendly measures in companies and organizations. An evaluation every third year after the Charta was signed documents the improvement of reconciling measures.

Building on the Charta “Reconciliation of family and work” the network “Unternehmen für Familien” was launched by the Federal Chancellery in March 2015 as a platform for companies and communities. In the center of attention is the better reconciling of family and work and family-friendly measures in working life and living as well as raising awareness for these issues in public.

Since 2016 the „Wegweiser Familienfreundlichkeit“, which is a digital consulting instrument, demonstrates success factors of family friendliness. Based on details from the individual enterprise, the instrument calculates economic advantages of investing in family friendly measures.

To coordinate measures in the field of reconciliation und as a service point the “Family and Work Management Ltd” was established by law in 2006. The organization is funded by the Federal Chancellery. Besides counseling companies and regional initiatives it also develops innovative concepts for reconciliation.