According to a survey, companies are increasingly attaching importance to family-friendly measures to keep employees. Accordingly, they are also increasingly encouraging men in management positions to take time off for their children or to work part-time.

This is the result of the “Company Monitor Family Friendliness 2023” created by the Institute of German Economics (IW) and funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, which was published on Friday. It is a survey of HR managers in companies as well as of employees.

Business risk Skills shortage

Three out of four companies stated in the survey that they had difficulties finding skilled workers (74 percent). The shortage of skilled workers is currently one of the key business risks, said Peter Adrian, President of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, when presenting the results in Berlin. Family friendliness is a mainstay of securing skilled workers. Federal Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens) called the compatibility of family and career a tough competitive factor in the race for the best minds.

Around 86 percent of the HR managers surveyed stated that family-friendly measures in their company were important to them – an increase of around 3 percentage points compared to the previous survey in 2018 and an increase of 8 percentage points compared to the previous study from 2015. 88 percent of HR managers who said that family-friendly measures were important to them gave the reason for wanting to retain qualified employees in their company. Recruiting employees is another motive that ranks high.

Around 82 percent of the employees surveyed generally rated the compatibility of their working hours with family and social obligations as very good or good. Of those who are not satisfied, more than half (57 percent) are considering changing jobs in the next three to five years. Among those who are satisfied, it is only 26 percent.

Fathers in focus

This year’s company monitor placed a special focus on the compatibility of work and family for fathers. Roughly every second HR manager believes that this topic will become even more important in the coming years. “Companies know that if they don’t take care of fathers’ wishes, they could lose them,” Paus said.

A third of the managers stated in the survey that they actively support male executives in taking time off for their children (parental leave) – double the figure for 2015. In addition, the proportion of companies in which male bosses explicitly take advantage of the offer The number of people doing part-time work has almost quadrupled compared to 2015, although at 19 percent this is still an exception, the study says.

Corresponding information on female executives was not requested, nor how many employees in management levels take advantage of the opportunities. According to the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, each parent is entitled to up to three years of parental leave from their employer. The employment relationship therefore remains in place throughout the parental leave and there is a right to return to earlier working hours. Nevertheless, it can be important for employees when deciding whether or not to take time off, what a company’s attitude towards it is.

DGB is skeptical about poll numbers

Criticism came from the deputy chairwoman of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), Elke Hannack. “Operational measures that effectively help to reconcile family and work with as little stress as possible are still more of a single beacon than trend models,” she told the German Press Agency on Friday. She called for more speed from employers on the subject of family friendliness.

Company monitor family friendliness 2023