European Network "Family and Work"
Final report 1999-2000
September 2000
Professor Dr. Michel E. Domsch / Dr. Désirée H. Ladwig


   Reports of national experts

Pick your favourite country from the list on the left side.

   1. Introduction

The European Network "Family and Work" continued its work under the co-ordination of Professor Dr. Michel E. Domsch and Dr. Désirée H. Ladwig and with the support of Eliane Tenten (co-ordination assistant) and Jo-Annet Kriedel (secretary) who has been replaced by Ellen Rothe since April 2000.

The following final report gives an overview of the Network activities in 1999-2000 and finalises the project EU Network "Family and Work".

The Enclosures illustrate the scope of Network activities in detail.

   2. International activities/co-ordination in 1999-2000

   2.1. EU co-ordination and contacts

Network PR

The work of the Network has been presented by the co-ordinators at a number of seminars/conferences and several presentations have been made on Network topics (in addition to the Network national seminars and the experts' meeting):

Research and institutions

5/6 February 1999 Participation in the conference "European Human Resource Management" in Barcelona held by ESADE (Business School)
12 February 1999 Participation in the Colloquium on "Human Resource Management" at the University of Potsdam, Germany
12-30 April 1999 Several presentations including "Working time flexibility", "Culture training and development" and "Social Auditing" were presented in Hamburg at the University of the United Armed Forces within the framework of the European University Network "Master Programme in European Human Resource Management".
16 April 1999 The co-ordinators attended the Forum on "Work Time Flexibility" organised within the framework of TOP 1999 (nation-wide women's fair presenting initiatives and institutions which promote equal opportunities in industry and society) and gave a presentation on this topic.
18-20 April 1999 The co-ordinators presented the Network at the Château D'esclimont "Global Forum on Family and Work" near Paris.
2 September 1999 Presentation on "European Human Resource Management" at the Copenhagen Business School.
28 January 2000 EM Lyon (Business School)
3 May 2000 Participation in the conference "European Human Resource Management" in Barcelona held by ESADE (Business School)
8 May 2000 Master programme in European Resource Management, Hamburg
5 May 2000 Discussion with representatives of the Business School, Copenhagen, in Hamburg
13 July Presentation of the Network at the Vlerick Leuven Management School, Ghent


10 February 1999 Participation in the forum organised by the Norddeutsche Landesbank in Hanover. The presentation was about "Working time flexibility"
04 November 1999 Presentation on Mobiletime for Managers and Professionals, part of the WorkLife Concept, at the Mobilzeit Forum in Hamburg.
23 November 1999 Presentation on European Social Audits and Work Time Flexibility during the international seminar "Women Empowerment and Employment" with women from South-Africa at the Dräger Forum, Lübeck.
17 March 1999 Participation in the Forum "Praxis-Wissenschaft" ("Experiences-science") organised in Hamburg by the Chamber of Commerce. The presentation was on "Social Surveys".
1999 Discussion with companies which are members of the Mobilzeit Forum (Flexitime Forum) (14)
1999 Discussion with companies which are members of the project group Mitarbeiterbefragung (Employees' Survey) (10)
18 February 2000 Glaxo Wellcome GmbH & Co , Hamburg
24 March 2000 Frankfurter Gesellschaft, Munich
9 May 2000 Johnson & Johnson, Hamburg
13 May 2000 ASCHE AG, Hamburg
23 June 2000 Vorwerk GmbH, Wuppertal
13 July Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt


18 March 1999 Participation in the conference organised by the Federal Ministry of Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) on the topic "Equal opportunities in a family-friendly working world - Social auditing in Europe".
15 November 1999 Professor Domsch gave a speech on Equal Opportunities in Rendsburg (Federal Ministry of Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ)).
17 May 2000 Discussion with representatives of the Ministry of Justice of the Netherlands in Hamburg
25 May 2000 Ministry of Culture, Youth, Family and Women, Rhineland- Palatinate

Foundations, syndicates

01/02 November 1999 Presentation on the Network and Work Time Flexibility at the Gustav Stresemann Foundation in Bonn.
3 February 2000 VGH, Hanover
4 April 2000 Haniel-Stiftung, Duisburg
13 April 2000 Total E-Quality e.V.
31 May 2000 Tokyo IRA (International Industrial Relations Association) 12th World Congress

   Contacts with other institutions

  • Professor Dr. Michel E. Domsch and Dr. Désirée H. Ladwig attended the first "Global Forum on Family and Work" held at the Château D'esclimont near Paris on 18-21 April 1999. This meeting, sponsored by IBM, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Marriott, Chase, and Citigroup, is the first step in a project that will form an International Work/Family Network. The Families and Work Institute, The Boston College Centre for Work & Family and the Centre for Corporate Community relations are taking the lead in organising this effort. 45 experts from 14 countries participated in the meeting.
  • The Network was presented by the co-ordinators at this Forum. A lot of contacts were made. The co-ordinators have integrated all the addresses in the Network address/experts list.
  • In connection with organising the experts' meeting - "Eastern European countries - Reconciliation of Family and Work" - in Brussels on 02 June 1999 the co-ordinators contacted several international Ministries, universities and institutions such as the:  
    • Czech Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Div. of Equality for Men and Women
    • Czech Women's Union
    • Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs, UNDP (Project "Promotion of Gender Equality Mainstreaming)
    • Estonian Institute of International and Social Studies, Department of Family Sociology, Tallinn
    • Hungarian Ministry of Social Policy and Family Affairs, Office for Women's Issues Hungarian National Institute of Family and Children
    • Polish Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Department of Labour Law
    • Polish UNESCO Chair "Women, Society, Development"
    • Slovenian Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana
    • and others  
  • The co-ordinators are now members of the newsgroup European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO) of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions and the Work-Family Researchers Electronic Network supported by the Sloan Foundation.

   2.2. Network Experts' Co-ordination

   National experts (see Enclosure 4.1)

Compared with 1998, several changes took place. The Network consisted of 15 national experts in 1999-2000. Professor Dr. Inés Alberdi (Spain), Michael Barry/Pat Rooney (Ireland) and Monique Borsenberger (Luxembourg) replaced Miguel Yáguez, Patricia Brand and Nico Hoffmann. Margaret Ohren (United Kingdom) left the Network and New Ways to Work. Michael Barry left the Network at the end of 1999 due to his workload and was replaced by Pat Rooney.

  • Mrs. Alberdi is Professor of Sociology at Madrid University. She has wide-ranging experience in both academic and non-academic work in the field of women's studies and equal opportunities. Among other activities in this field, she has been Associate Researcher at the George Washington university, Spanish expert for the European Equal Opportunities Unit on Positive Action, Senior Advisor for Women in Development at the Interamerican Bank, Washington D.C. and Member of the Board of the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women.  
  • Mr. Michael Barry is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and in Industrial Relations and a Member of the Governing Body of The National College of Ireland, Dublin. He has lectured at the College for the past 19 years and has worked closely with a number of trade unions and business organisations on issues of equality and the changing role of men and women in current society. He is a member of the Irish Institute of Training and Development and has been involved with voluntary and charitable organisations for many years.    
  • Pat Rooney is an Executive Officer with the Irish postal company, An Post. He is currently completing doctoral research at Trinity College, Dublin, into the issues facing men in organisations. He is a member of both the Institute of Personnel and Development and the Irish Institute of Training and Development and has undertaken associate lecturing and facilitation in the field of gender-conditioning for a number of Irish colleges/organisations. Pat is also particularly interested in emerging approaches to inquiry. He has been the national expert within the Network for 2000 instead of Mr. Michael Barry.    
  • Ms. Monique Borsenberger is an arts graduate and took a master's degree in modern languages and a diploma in cross-border Franco-German studies on "Japanese enterprises in Saarland - Lorraine - Luxembourg". She is a researcher at the CEPS/ Instead, Research Institute on Population, Poverty and Social and Economic Policy Luxembourg. She has realised studies and reports in a comparative perspective on the topic of employment and unemployment and social security in the cross-border region of Germany- Belgium - France - Luxembourg and comparative documents on living and working conditions. She is a member of the European experts' network EURES (European Employment Services) and of the European Network "National Family Policy" and represents the Family Ministry at several workshops for the setting-up and implementation of action plans in Luxembourg.

   National Seminars (see Enclosure 4.2)

   Six national seminars took place in 1999-2000:

  • German national seminar
    The co-ordinators participated in the national seminar in Düsseldorf, Germany (about 200 participants) on 15 and 16 April 1999. It was organised by the national expert Mrs. Fauth-Herkner and the Federal Ministry of Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) with the topic "Equal opportunities in a family-friendly working world - Social auditing in Europe".
    The co-ordinators participated actively in the organisation of the seminar and prepared a study for this occasion on "Social audits - a European model: Equality and the Reconciliation of Family and Work" presented by Professor Dr. Michel E. Domsch (see Enclosure 4.2). The aim of the project is to analyse in a comparative perspective the most important European audits with regard to equality and the reconciliation of family and work. Most important action fields with regard to auditing throughout Europe in the field of equal opportunities, flexible working hours have been revealed.
    The co-ordinator Professor Dr. Michel E. Domsch also presented the Network (topics, aims, activities).   
  • Belgian/French national seminar
    The co-ordinators of the Network attended the national seminar in Lille, Belgium (about 60 participants) on 3-4 June 1999 on "Flexibility of managers' working hours - men and women - an opportunity for businesses as well as individual managers" organised by the national Belgian and French experts Mrs. Goffinet and Mrs. Pasquet-Paoli. Professor Dr. Michel E. Domsch presented the Network and spoke about part-time working for managers and especially about the "Mobilzeitprojekt" (project "mobile time/part-time for specialists and management") - a consultant project carried out between 1995 and 1998 on new, innovative and flexible working-hours models initiated and financed by the German government (Ministry of Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth) in which more than 100 companies took part.  
  • Dutch national seminar
    The Dutch national seminar on "The Effects of leave periods and childcare arrangements: experience in Europe" took place in The Hague on 2-3 September 1999. It was organised by the Netherlands Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, the Erasmus University of Rotterdam and the national expert, Anneke van Doorne Huiskes. The aim of the seminar was to facilitate the exchange of experience and knowledge in order to profit from the experience gained by other European countries with regard to the implementation and effects of different types of leave and other family arrangements and to comment on proposals for the organisation of leave arrangements in the Netherlands. In fact, the Netherlands do not occupy a front-line position with respect to work-family arrangements and an intensive debate is in progress on the best way to facilitate the reconciliation of family and work.
    Around 25 persons, scientists, civil servants and policy-makers from employers' and employees' organisations, including managers and personnel officers from public and private companies and from different countries (Belgium, Sweden, Germany, The United Kingdom, Denmark, Italy, Finland, Norway) were invited. Some people from the Czech Republic were also invited. The Finnish national expert gave a presentation within the framework of the topic "The cases of the Nordic countries: Leave periods and childcare arrangements...".   
  • Finnish national seminar
    The Finnish national seminar on "European Diversities - Combining Work and Family - Different Settings of Working Life, Family Life and Culture" which took place in Helsinki on 5 and 6 October 1999, was at the same time the closing seminar of the research and development project "Combining Work and Family Life" which was founded by the European Social Fund and the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and was carried out by Stakes (National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health) and the Work Research Centre in the University of Tampere between 1 January 1996 and 31 December 1999. The project worked with eleven workplaces in different fields intertwining research work with the development of workplace practices in co-operation with the personnel.
    The seminar presented the development processes at the workplaces, the research results of the present situation of combining work and family in Finnish working life. It revealed the diversities between the policies and cultures of the Member States with regard to the ways of reconciling family and work and discussed the diversity within workplaces. Among other presentations, Professor Dr. Michel E. Domsch gave a presentation on "Networking Experiences and Future Trends" and the Dutch national expert, Anneke van Doorne-Huiskes, gave a presentation on "European Combinations of Work and Family from the Company Perspective". Representatives of workplaces and of labour market organisations, experts in administration, working life consultancy and research, politicians, representatives of NGOs and media participated in the seminar.  
  • Italian national seminar
    The Italian national seminar about "Fathers and care work. Everyday life and organisations" took place in Venice on 19-20 November 1999. Representatives of the European Commission DGV, Municipality of Venice, Office of Women's Citizenship and Cultural Differences, plan of action for the rights of children and adolescents, third-sector agency services participated in the seminar which was organised under the patronage of the President of the Cabinet Council - Department of Social Affairs - and with the co-operation of the National Centre of Analyses and Documentation for Children and Adolescents by the Department of Social Affairs. The seminar focused on the redefinition of the role of fathers and presented the European scenario. Professor Dr. Michel E. Domsch and Dr. Désirée H. Ladwig presented the German situationand the European context and the Network. The Swedish, Finnish, French, British, Irish and Spanish experiences were presented by the national experts or their representatives. 4 further workshops were held on the second day.  
  • Spanish national seminar
    The Spanish national seminar on "Family and work flexibility" was held in Madrid on 10 and 11 May 2000. It was organised by the General Directorate of Social Action, Children and Family of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment with the co-operation of the EU Network "Family and Work" and the European Commission. The goal of the meeting was to discuss adequate working conditions as regards the reconciliation of family and work and to discuss the progress made in this direction, for example within the framework of the new Spanish law promoting the reconciliation of family and work among employed people.
    About 100 persons participated in the seminar; among others, 13 national experts from the EU Network "Family and Work", researchers from the Spanish Council of Scientific Research (Consejo superior de investigaciones científicas), representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and the European Union, Spanish representatives from the European Observatory on Family Policies and representatives of family associations. Professor Dr. Michel Domsch and Dr. Désirée H. Ladwig presented the Network. Some experts from the Network gave a presentation on the situation concerning part-time work in their countries.

    A book on the seminar will be published by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.

   2.3 Internal Co-ordination

Meeting co-ordination
The co-ordinators prepared the contents of five internal Network meetings, an experts' meeting and participation in five national seminars. Charts and handouts were produced for these meetings and the results have been documented and disseminated.

1st internal Network Meeting
The first internal Network meeting in 1999 took place in Milan, Italy, on 1 March 1999. Besides discussion of the current topics of the Network, the Ministers for Equal Opportunities Mr. Roberto Formigoni (President of Regione Lombardia), Mrs. Elena Gazzola (Regional Department of Equal Opportunities) and Mrs. Laura Balbo (Minister for Equal Opportunities) gave presentations. Furthermore, Ms Fauth-Herkner, German national expert, presented the German Family-Friendly Index. In addition to selection of the topics to be focussed on in 1998/1999, several other important topics were discussed. Information on the meeting has been documented and sent to all the national experts (see Enclosure 4.3).

Experts' Meeting
(Eastern European Countries - Reconciliation of Family and Work)
The experts' meeting was organised and carried out by the co-ordinators and mrs paraskeva and took place in Brussels on 02 June 1999. Several social and family Ministries, universities and institutions were contacted in order to select interesting speakers. It was a very intensive and fruitful meeting. The results of the meeting have been published in book form (see 2.6). Professor Michel E. Domsch gave an overview presentation on the economic, social and demographic situation in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia.

2nd internal Network Meeting
The experts' meeting was followed by an internal Network meeting (02 June). The meeting was prepared and managed by the co-ordinator, Professor Michel E. Domsch (see Enclosure 4.4).

3rd internal Network Meeting
Another Network meeting was organised in connection with the Italian national seminar on 20 November 1999.

4th internal Network meeting
The 4th internal Network meeting took place on 10 May 2000 in connection with the Spanish national seminar on "Family and Work Flexibility" in Madrid. The meeting was prepared and managed by the co-ordinators
(see Enclosure 4.5).

5th internal Network meeting
The 5th and final internal Network meeting took place in Brussels on 6 July 2000. The meeting was prepared and managed by the co-ordinators and Mrs. Paraskeva (see Enclosure 4.6).

The Network received the new contract for 1999 in August. The official term for the contract in 1999 and 2000 was therefore from 13 August 1999 to 12 August 2000. But the co-ordinators and all the national experts worked for the Network throughout 1999 so as not to risk any interruption in the intensive Network activities. Nearly every month they were given the information "the contract will come soon, don't worry". At least all the experts and the co-ordination team had to work for 8 months without pay, due to the contract regulations.

Experts' Database
This database, set up to record all the contacts with international experts and their main focus of research, fields of activities, etc., contained about 220 experts by August 2000.

Network Address Database
As publication of the information bulletin has been stopped, the database has been used as a prolongation of the experts' database and has been a very important source of information and contacts. By August 2000 it contained 3,987 addresses from 33 countries.

Literature Database
The publications collected on Network topics are still being registered in our internal literature database (the publications come mainly from the European Commission, NGOs and national experts). By August 2000 it contained about 800 sources.

Mailing list Discussion Forum
The mailing list or news group set up at the beginning of the year changed its name to European.Work-Family.Forum at the beginning of 2000.

   2.4 "New Ways" Information Bulletins

The information bulletin 4/98 "Dual-Earner Families" was published in 7 languages and disseminated in July 1999. It can be downloaded on the Network's website.

The publication of further "New Ways" information bulletins was stopped by the Commission on 20 May 1999. There was no agreement at all about cancellation of the infobulletin by DG V.

Two issues of the information bulletin had already been fully prepared. The contents of these two information bulletins concentrate on the following themes:

  • Information bulletin 1/99: "Family Services & Employment"
  • Information bulletin 2/99: "Media Campaigns"

These two information bulletins are available in English on the Internet ( comm/employment_social/Family-net).

Within the framework of Network activities information bulletins were very useful. Worth mentioning are the positive repercussions of the infobulletins above all among small and medium-sized enterprises.

   2.5 Book "Reconciliation of Family and Work in Eastern European countries"

This publication consists mainly of the papers presented at the experts' meeting in Brussels on 2 June 1999, i.e. "East European countries - Reconciliation of Family &Work". It also includes information about the Network and the national experts. It will be published in November 2000 by Peter Lang (eds.), Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Berne, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford; Wien, ISBN 3-631-36713-9.

   2.6 European Best Practices Platform

In January 2000 the Network co-ordinators started to develop a Best Practices platform as part of a special project within the EU Network. The aim is to develop a European Market Place to exchange information and experience from all the EU Member States. With a database (see Enclosure 4.8), examples of good practice concerning equal opportunities and the reconciliation of work and family life have been and will be systematically collected and evaluated.

A form, checklist, guidelines and an example have been elaborated to be completed by the national experts for each Best Practice they observe in their own country (see Enclosure 4.7).

The Best Practices data will be part of the activities of the WorkLife Alliance-BALANCE and will be integrated in the new homepage ( The homepage of the EU Network ( will stay on the server of the European Commission with a link to the new homepage.

A media campaign will be started at the end of 2000.

According to the contract each expert had to collect approx. 20 Best Practices. But some national experts had/have difficulties finding BP particularly BE, GR, LUX. In Spain, for example, enterprises were reluctant to give information and did not want their Best Practices published.

The database now contains about 160 Best Practices and the collection of data will go on within BALANCE.

   2.7 European Audit "Work & Life"

A study entitled "Family, Equality and Work" was carried out by the Network co-ordinators within the framework of the German national seminar organised by the national expert Ms Fauth-Herkner and a short version is available on the Internet in English and in German (

Fauth-Herkner&Partner have taken the first steps to develop a European Work&Life Audit in co-operation with the national experts and the co-ordinators. The aim is to develop this instrument together with 4-6 European countries within the next two years. This project has been founded by the Charitable Hertie Foundation. Time schedule: start in May 2000 and end at the beginning of 2002. The co-ordinator Professor Michel E. Dosmch is on the Scientific Board of the project. It will hopefully be organised in co-operation with the Total Equality e.v.. The co-ordination is on the Board of Trustees.(For more information please see the Minutes of the internal meeting in Madrid on 10 May, Enclosure 4.5).

   2.8 Website of the Network (

The contents of the homepage were updated in February 1999, July 1999, December 1999 and June 2000. Numerous links to related organisations and documents on the results of some national seminars for downloading have been added in the last few months. The website of the Network was a very important source of information and contacts. Many people got in touch with the co-ordinators in this way. Daily we got 3-5 mails with information requests (mainly contacts/experts/literature).

   2.9 Budget

Due to the outstanding contract for 1999 co-ordination work was rather complicated during the first months of 1999, especially co-operation with the national experts (who were relying on payment), the organisation of the Network meeting in Milan and the experts' meeting in Brussels. Since 8/00 the University of the United German Forces as the contractor has received only the first tranche of the budget. 3-4 reminders for each invoice have not been answered. The situation was a mess. This kind of financial behaviour was unbelievable in the opinion of the co-ordinators.

   3. Final observations on the work accomplished during the last three years

See the Minutes of the final internal meeting in Brussels on 6 July
(Enclosure 4.6 )


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