Balancing work and care: Roth signs charter
With their commitment to achieving compatibility between work and care, the charter members accept a social responsibility, increase awareness regarding care and participate in the development of viable approaches that meet the needs of caregiving employees as well as their employers. By signing the charter, Roth signals its willingness to support caregiving employees, thus laying a foundation for a modern corporate and organisational culture. As Claus-Hinrich Roth explained: “As a family company, we meet our responsibilities: balancing family life and professional life is a crucial component of our company philosophy.” The Hessian Minister for Social Affairs and Integration, Kai Klose, welcomed 37 new charter companies at the company’s headquarters in Frankfurt. “The majority of nursing care in Germany is provided by family members. In Hesse, more than three quarters of all people in need of long-term care are cared for at home. The lion’s share of this care is provided by family members”, said Klose. “Signing the charter is a win-win situation for employees and companies. By becoming members, companies demonstrate that they are open to the issue of compatibility between caregiving and professional life and will look for solutions together with the employees”, the minister underscored.
254 companies in Hesse have joined
The double burden of caring for dependents alongside one’s own professional activity, managing care, doctor’s visits, household tasks and everyday routines, affects one in eleven employed individuals. In particular, full-time employees quickly reach their limits in such circumstances. Thus every third caregiver reduces their working hours or stops working entirely. An increasing number of employers are willing to find solutions with their employees to reconcile work and care. 254 companies with well over 300,000 employees have already joined the Hessian initiative “Balancing Career and Care”. The compatibility charter was launched by the Hessian Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration together with AOK Hessen, berufundfamilie Service GmbH and Bildungswerk der Hessischen Wirtschaft e. V. A core component of the initiative is the qualification of operational care guides offered by AOK: “They are the first point of contact within their company for those employees who have to manage the care of dependents at home. By now there are 350 care guides working in more than 200 businesses, more than ever before”, explained Detlef Lamm, Chairman of the Board for AOK Hessen. From small craft businesses to large-scale operations, Hessian companies, authorities, communities, institutions and universities from a wide variety of sectors have committed to the charter to develop care-sensitive human resource policies since 2013: and the numbers are growing each year. The initiative offers charter companies the opportunity to participate in networking meetings while receiving various materials, qualifications and implementation services. In addition, the Hessian initiative supports charter members with specialist events, skill training, networking events and an online portal.
The members to the charter seek to make the following contributions:
- We want to create a working environment in which caring for dependents is not a taboo. We agree that employees who provide care or assistance to dependents are taking on an important social responsibility.
- We want to encourage an organisational culture characterised by respect and esteem for those who take responsibility for dependents in need of care. We lay the foundations for all employees, particularly those with leadership relationships, to accept, share and live these values.
- We want to establish a solution-oriented approach to the situations of caregiving employees, since each care situation is different and is always subject to change.
- We want to improve internal awareness for all employees about the legal framework conditions and support services available within the company and the community.
- We want to build up an internal dialogue about our activities encouraging balance between work and caregiving and regularly provide information within the company about the progress that has been made.
- We want to encourage external dialogue about our commitment to a better balance between work and care. Our collective goal is to support caregiving employees who take on responsibility.