Reconciling family and work: not just parents’ business

It’s no secret that balancing the role of parent and work is an important challenge for many Quebeckers, and even for society in general. In a context of labor scarcity, where the attraction of new talent as well as the retention of employees have become unavoidable, family-work reconciliation measures allow organizations to stand out in the job market. .

The implementation of these measures brings benefits not only social and psychological, but also economic. In concrete terms, they reduce absenteeism, improve employee productivity and motivation, and help reduce parental stress. Parents can thus make themselves more available for their families, which contributes to the good development of children.

As a society, we should act so that all Quebeckers can have access to these measures and feel less torn between their family and professional responsibilities.

Already, a large number of employers offer family-work reconciliation measures. However, even though a majority of parents say they have access, many of them seem reluctant to use them. Why is that? Are they adapted to their needs? Will they be badly perceived to benefit? More than ever, it is important to foster a climate of openness and of listening in organizations, so that parents feel encouraged and respected when it comes to using the measures available to them, when they are . It should be noted that a large number of workers have atypical schedules and do not have access to family-work reconciliation measures.

That said, valuing and supporting family-work balance is not only the responsibility of employers. On the contrary, it is an issue that affects the whole of society and we can all act to make things better. Moreover, according to a survey commissioned by the Observatoire des Toddlers, 83% of citizens in the greater Quebec City area agree that the government and municipalities should do more to encourage the establishment of family-work reconciliation measures.

In order for society to be able to make the right choices and introduce family-work reconciliation measures that correspond to the real needs of families, it would be beneficial to see, among other things, more parents involved in decision-making bodies. . And what about the schedules of our public services (municipal, community, health, social services)? They could certainly be better adapted to the reality of work. In fact, that’s what 47% of the citizens of the greater Quebec City area want, according to the survey commissioned by the Observatoire des petits-petits. Of course, it could also be envisaged that the government more precisely regulates the offer of family-work reconciliation measures, so that everyone can have access to them, regardless of their work schedule or level of education. Finally, employees must also take part in the discussion by expressing their needs clearly to their employers.

As for us, no matter where we are in an organization, we need to be aware of the impact we can have on our colleagues. Do we exercise judgment, even unconsciously, towards our fellow parents?

Let us provide Quebecers with a job market that better reconciles family and employment. Contributing to this, each of us, is offering better to families, children, workers, to make Quebec a stronger and more prosperous society.

This letter is co-signed by:
Marie-Ève ​​Brunet Kitchen, former elected of the City of Montreal and Director of the Quebec Federation of Community Organizations Family
Amélie Landry, Councilor of the District of Bienville, City of Lévis
Sébastien Lesage, President and Chief Executive Officer, Goulu Duck Inc.
Steeve Verret, member of the Executive Committee and Councilor of the District of Lac-Saint-Charles, Quebec City.

The signatories will all be panellists at the editorial table on work-family reconciliation organized by Premières en affaires, in partnership with the Observatoire des toes-petits.

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