What is it?
The toolkit is intended as an easy-to-read tool on issues related to work-life balance. It is mainly addressed to operators in Public Employment Services (PES), to people with reconciliation needs and to SMEs. The toolkit is assembled with the intent of disseminating existing solutions and available resources to all those who are looking for a better work-life balance in their life or for their company.
In this sense, the Toolkit is a practical and educational guide carrying out an examination and a detailed study of the existing policies and measures on reconciliation, focusing on services and rights of individuals, as well as on SMEs and their obligations and incentives. In the following paragraph, it will be highlighted the aim of the toolkit and a short description of its content and the people it is addressed to.
Goals and purposes
The toolkit aims at informing a heterogeneous audience about the meaning of reconciliation and to provide a guiding framework without claims of being exhaustive on policies and measures adopted on European, national, and local level. Policies and measures are targeted at fostering a better balance between time dedicated to professional life and time committed to care for depending and/or non-self-sufficient people, to self-care, as well as to sports, politics, training and education which are complementary to one’s own private life and make it satisfying.
The final goal of the toolkit, in addition to being used in employment services or in working places, is not only to provide information about work – life balance but, ideally, to be a practical and easy tool for its users. It will be of support in providing first answers and facilitating a first “re-scan” of one’s own reconciliation needs, in laying the ground for the users to find inspiration, opportunities and/or services that were not known before and thus may make the management of these needs easier.
The toolkit consists of an introductory part describing the project and outlining the context of the suggested activities and of the actors involved.
It subsequently focuses on the definition and characteristics of reconciliation, analysing its various aspects and introducing the rights of people to Work-Life Balance (WLB) needs and exploring opportunities and services they could turn to.
At the end of the toolkit, you can find some handy attachments, conceived to help recipients to find their bearings in assessing reconciliation needs and their possible responses and existing opportunities, in legal terms, in organizational opportunities as well as in terms of services.
The toolkit is addressed to operators who already have prior knowledge on work – life reconciliation issues as well as to people who approach it for the first time and want to get information about it.
The toolkit is to be considered as a dynamic and versatile tool, both with regards to the features of the areas where it is used in and to its users’ needs.
Within the project’s greater scope, this toolkit is particularly addressed to job centres and services advisers in their work with users’ re-entry into the workforce.
The toolkit is conceived to assist and accompany people with reconciliation needs who are seeking for new answers and perspectives about their WLB needs, as well as for SMEs willing to offer reconciliation options to their employees or upgrade their existing offer.
In Italy, the main normative framework regarding work – life reconciliation is enunciated in Law No 53/2000 ‘Provisions for the support of maternity and paternity, for the right to care and training and for the coordination of urban temporalities’ which regulates matters about different types of leave, maternity, paternity and parental leave, right to care and education and coordination of time in the city. More closely, art. 9 (as amended by art. 38 Law No 69/2009 of 18 June 2009) establishes the measures to conciliate work time and off-time in support of a flexible working schedule.
Leaves are a substantial part of work – life reconciliation policies; however, they are not the only existing and recommended measure to be taken. Along with them, to be considered there are also measures intervening on working time, flexibility in the organization of work and care services system as well as economic transfers to support the care load, particularly with regards to childhood and births.