Presentation of the project ODA
The project Fathers and employers in action (ODA), which is co-financed under the Norwegian Financial Mechanism Programme 2009-2014, was presented on 3 March 2015. The Slovenian Peace Institute acts as Project Promoter with the Faculty of Social Sciences (University of Ljubljana), Slovenian Association of Free Trade Unions, Nicha d.o.o. and the Norwegian partner Reform – resource centre for men acting as project partners.
The project ODA addresses the issue of men and their work-life balance. The project focuses on two groups of men who face various circumstances which hinder equal participation in family care: a) men in leadership positions with long working hours, requiring men to be mobile and available twenty-four seven; b) fathers in a precarious employment situation, e.g. the self-employed, contract workers, those who work as students, who are not addressed by the standards work-life balance measures.
The quality and quantity research and the analysis of the state of play will identify the needs and obstacles working fathers face in establishing a work-life balance. In cooperation with working fathers, employers and trade unions we will develop models of work-life balance measures which will be implemented within a 6-month pilot test in the chosen companies. Based on the research and the pilot test we will form recommendations for politicians and invite labour organisations to evaluate the already-adopted work-life balance measures and the possibility of introducing new measures.
The project underlines the relevance and role of the cooperation between the fathers, employers and trade unions in the design and testing of new strategies and the opportunities to establish work-life balance which directly address the relevant needs of working fathers. This is key in enhancing gender equality – covering both men and women – in all areas of life, and in promoting changes in the labour sphere which will benefit the employees and the employers. By raising awareness among fathers, employers and the general public regarding fatherhood equality and the importance of work-life balance, the project contributes to the recognition of the relevance of the equal role of the father in child rearing and family life.
The ODA consulting body was established in the framework of the project and acts as the project’s accompanying body which aims to gain experts’ support for the project group, as well as to inform the interested publics (experts and the general public) about the project and its results.
Equal participation of fathers in family life benefits everyone: men, children, women, employers and the society as a whole. The employers play an important role, namely they introduce work-life balance measures. What are the benefits of this incentive for employers and working fathers? What are the activities to be implemented and what are the concrete changes that will be introduces in Slovenia in the near future? The answers to these questions, and many more, were the subject of the debate the participants of which were: dr. Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrčela (Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ljubljana), mag. Andreja Poje (Slovenian Association of Free Trade Unions), Marko Funkl (Movement for Decent Work and welfare Society), dr. Živa Humer (Slovenian Peace Institute), mag. Branislav Rajić (president of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Norway). The event was moderated by mag. Lidia Pavlin, Nicha d.o.o.