March 1st is Family Friendly Workplace Day – 01 Feb 2001

March 1st is Family Friendly Workplace Day

The first national Family Friendly Workplace Day will take place on March 1st 2001 announced the Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Tom Kitt, T.D., deputising for An Taoiseach. “The Family Friendly Workplace is one where workers are assisted in combining employment with their family life, their caring responsibilities and their personal life outside of the workplace. This day will be an opportunity for enterprises to focus on family friendly workplace arrangements and the benefits to accommodating the diverse needs of employees”, added the Minister.

The family friendly workplace initiative is funded under the National Development Plan and is being developed following a commitment in the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness.

In endorsing this new national Family Friendly Workplace Day…

Peter Cassells, General Secretary of ICTU, stated “Workplaces that respect and recognise the diverse needs of workers, including their family responsibilities, will gain from the diversity of talents and skills that they will attract and retain within their workforce. We are recommending that Employers, Unions and Employees come together to see which family friendly work arrangements work for them.”

Turlough O’Sullivan, Director General of IBEC, stressed that IBEC regards the issue of family friendly policies as critically important in the context of a rapidly changing workplace. “We are strongly of the view that Family Friendly Polices can deliver considerable benefits to employers and our workforce and the task now is to build on experience to date and encourage more Irish companies to introduce Family Friendly Policies.”

Niall Crowley, C.E.O., of the Equality Authority stated that the Family Friendly Workplace had the capacity to:

  • “Enhance staff recruitment and retention
  • Build workplace equality so that those with caring responsibilities are not disadvantaged by interrupted careers or excessive stress.
  • Improve the staff morale and commitment
  • Improve the possibility of a more equal sharing of caring responsibilities between women and men.
  • Accommodate those in the workplace unable to work standard times or shifts.”

Family Friendly Workplace Day will be an opportunity to launch and publicise initiatives taken under the aegis of the National Framework Committee – initiatives such as a website to support family friendly workplace arrangements, a brochure to promote their implementation and a review of published material on the family friendly workplace.

The day will also be an opportunity to develop an enterprise level focus on family friendly workplace arrangements. We hope enterprises around the country will organise events on the day, events such as

  • briefings on the family friendly workplace
  • surveys to establish the most suitable arrangements
  • initiatives such as “go home on time” campaign or a family open day in the Workplace.

“In this way the day will serve as a foundation for further action which the National Framework Committee will seek to support through regional seminars”, concluded Mr. Crowley.