Exchange of good practice on "new forms of work"
The Netherlands hosted an exchange of good practices in The Hague on the 24-25th of October 2011. It focused on the implementation of flexible working time arrangements and their consequences for gender equality.
The seminar reviewed the Dutch Nieuwe Werken (New Forms of Work) programme which covers a wide range of flexible working arrangements such as part-time work, flexi-time, tele-(home)working and intensified use of ICT, allowing employees to work outside their usual workplaces. In order to highlight companies which actively support the provision of a better work life balance, the Dutch government introduced ‘a quality mark of the modern employer’ rewarding those employers which are ahead in the implementation of the new forms of work.
The discussions during the seminar underlined the need to support the negotiation of flexible working arrangements in order to balance companies’ needs with workers’ preferences in a gender equality perspective and to take into consideration the changing lifecycle needs of workers, while reducing the segregation of women in part-time work. This calls for the development of a family friendly culture in organisations, as well as a greater participation of men in informal care and the provision of good quality flexible care services to allow workers (and especially women) a real choice on the allocation of their time.