Flexible working hours, work-family balance and gender equality. The Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches FSPC met the criteria of “Fachstelle UND”, an agency dedicated to improving work-life balance in Switzerland, for a second time – and even managed to improve its score. Now, the FSPC is entitled to bear the label of “Family AND Career” for another three years.
With 315 points, the FSPC scored 15 points higher than 2015 in the Fachstelle UND audit. The FSPC achieves this high rating due to many measures for its employees: For example, an extensive personnel development concept was introduced that explicitly contains an Article on gender equality / equal opportunities. By improving communication about options to achieve better work-family balance, the FSPC managed to win more women for positions in the cadre and the specialized departments. More flexible working hour models are making life easier for employees. “Regarding work-life and work-family balance and gender equality, the FSPC is operating on a high level,” the agency writes in its report.
In addition, it commends the Federation for including the topic of gender equality in its new constitution. In December, the delegates adopted a so-called “gender equality article,” according to which the future Protestant Reformed Church in Switzerland PCS shall promote the “equality of the genders” (§ 11 para. 1) in general and is also concerned about “a balanced representation of the genders in its committees” (§ 11 para. 2) in particular. Such a promotion of this aspect on the constitutional level is new and shows the weight and relevance of gender equality. Council President Gottfried Locher welcomes this development: “Gender equality in the workplace strengthens our main office and the church as a whole. We want to get the most out of the entire talent pool.“
So far, 64 employers in Switzerland have received the UND label since 2007. Among them are small and medium-sized companies as well as institutions such as the Swiss Federal Office of Communications, the Migros Cooperative Zurich, Roche, Helsana or PostFinance. The FSPC bears the label since 2015. It must be renewed every three years in the course of an auditing process. While the Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of St. Gallen and the United Church Services of Bern-Jura-Solothurn were certified in 2015, three additional church institutions have joined them in 2018: The Regional Church Services of the Reformed Church of Aargau, the Reformed Church of the Canton on Zug and the Church Streetwork Association in Lucerne. Currently, the Protestant Methodist Church is applying for the label, and the Regional Church of Graubünden is starting its standpoint definition.