Family-friendly policies at work
The Montenegro Association of Managers is joining forces with UNICEF to promote family-friendly policies at work to support men and women in their work–life balance
PODGORICA, 23 FEBRUARY 2023 – By creating a family-friendly working environment which equally supports women and men to work and have a family, the public and private sectors can help Montenegro’s economic growth. It is also important to legally allow mothers and fathers in Montenegro to use their parental leave at the same time, to provide children with quality family care, especially immediately after birth.
Having in mind the significance of family-friendly work policies for all children worldwide, UNICEF has come up with a global initiative of family-friendly policies, to call upon on governments and businesses to implement them to allow employed fathers and mothers to give their children the best start in life.
Based on UNICEF’s Global Guidelines, the Montenegro Association of Managers is organizing nominations for the most family-friendly employer in the country this year. The award for the most family-friendly employer will be given at the 2023 awards gala evening for the best managers and entrepreneurs, to be organized in May this year.
According to the President of the Montenegro Association of Managers, Budimir Raičković, the annual award of the Association is recognized as one of the most prestigious national business awards provided by professionals. The Association gladly decided to support this idea and to include the category Employer of the Year – Employer with best family-friendly policies.
“We wish to promote and stimulate employers, companies and managers who implement activities and policies that benefit their employees and support children, women and families. Companies which set the satisfaction and needs of their employees and their families and children as their focus and strategic goal have a future. This approach brings many benefits for socio-economic development and prosperity in the long run,” Raickovic said.
According to the UNICEF Montenegro Representative, Juan Santander, by supporting women to have a healthy work–life balance, family-friendly policies stimulate economic growth.
“For example, in Nordic countries over the past 50 years, they have boosted growth in GDP per capita up to 20 per cent. Working women enjoy the opportunity to realize their potentials and feel self-fulfilled, while increasing family income and promoting economic growth"
According to the UK Ambassador to Montenegro, Karen Maddocks, the key to increasing women’s participation in the workforce is to increase the options for both men and women. That means improving childcare provision and supporting men as well as women through parental leave and family-friendly policies.
“So that men, equally with women, can make the choice about taking on a childcare role at home, and whether and how to combine that with work".
,,Employers have a role in helping men and women to challenge and break free from social expectations about gender roles that sometimes limit their choices".
According to the UNICEF Montenegro young reporters, family-friendly policies are a necessity for any employer to be attractive to young people, who are the future workforce.
“To make employers attractive to us, young people, they must take care of our mental health. It is up to employers to find a way to make their employees happy. Because only a rested and happy worker is a productive one".
In Montenegro, the focus of the family-friendly policy nomination is on the private sector’s support to working parents through investments in quality and affordable childcare for ages 1 to 6 years.
For example, companies can provide monthly payments for kindergartens, child allowances and paid leave to parents for taking care of children when they are sick during their first years of life.
They can also fund childcare after classes during the first grades of primary school until parents finish work and can join them at home.
The focus is also on promoting parental leave for Montenegro’s fathers and on supporting parents to use flexible working hours.