Kinder spielen in einem Spielzimmer mit Spielzeug und einem Sofa. Im Hintergrund arbeitet eine Frau an einem Laptop.

28/06/2024 | The Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) has been awarded the "audit berufundfamilie" certificate for the third time for its family and life-phase-conscious personnel policy. The renewed award shows that measures such as flexible working hours, mobile working and health programmes have become an integral part of the institute's culture in the six years since the initial certification.

On 18 June, more than 300 organisations were successfully audited for their strategic commitment to promoting work-life balance. ZMT is one of the 64 organisations that were awarded a third certificate.

Federal Minister for Family Affairs Lisa Paus MdB, who is the patron of the audit berufundfamilie and the audit familiengerechte hochschule, emphasised at the 26th certificate award ceremony: "The certified companies, institutions and universities show a sense of responsibility in making it easier for their employees to reconcile family and career. They are therefore not only role models for employers in Germany. They also benefit in the competition for the best skilled workers and contribute to a modern, family-conscious working environment. I would like to congratulate all certificate holders who have embarked on this journey, who are just starting out or who have been doing so for some time and who continue to improve and develop year after year."

Eine Frau an einem Pult hält eine Rede vor großem Publikum.

Federal Minister for Family Affairs Lisa Paus MdB at the 26th certificate award ceremony | Photo: Jens Schicke, berufundfamilie Service GmbH

Seal of quality for a family-conscious personnel policy

The "audit berufundfamilie" certificate, which is valid for three years, is a seal of quality for a family-conscious HR policy and is awarded by the Board of Trustees of berufundfamilie Service GmbH. Following the first certification in 2018 and the re-certification in 2021, ZMT has now successfully completed the third re-audit process. Existing family and life-phase-conscious measures were reviewed and the compatibility policy and culture at ZMT were deepened.

The ZMT currently offers its more than 150 employees a wide range of options for combining work and family life. This includes very extensive flexibility in the organisation of working hours and the choice of work location. There is a good dialogue between employees, in which work-life balance issues are also discussed. Staff development is supported by mentoring and there is an increased focus on leisure and health programmes. The ZMT provides childcare places for its employees and offe

Dr Donata Monien heads the "audit berufundfamilie" project at ZMT together with Elke Kasper. "The re-audit is a good opportunity to review existing measures, make fine adjustments and agree plans for the future," says Monien. "Over the next three years, we want to focus on improving our communication - we are particularly concerned about on-boarding the many international employees/guests and we want to make the audit measures more visible in everyday life at ZMT."

In addition, topics such as care, transition to retirement and intergenerational cooperation should be given greater consideration. Furthermore, the existing regulations on fixed-term contracts and mobile working at home locations outside Germany are to be reviewed and adapted if necessary.

Dr Nicolas Dittert, Managing Director of the institute, adds: "Even before the first audit in 2017 and especially in the time since, numerous measures were introduced and implemented with regard to the flexibility of working conditions and support in reconciliation situations, so that taking family requirements into account is now part of normality at the institute, both in the processes and in the culture."

About the audit berufundfamilie certificate

A total of 316 companies, institutions and universities were honoured at the 26th certificate award ceremony, which took place in the German House of Business. 306 organisations were honoured with the audit berufundfamilie or audit familiengerechte hochschule certificate - 119 companies, 151 institutions and 36 universities to be precise. For 205 organisations, this was at least the fourth time they had been awarded the quality seal. They had previously gone through the lean dialogue process, in which they can go into more detail on specific topics, and which is open to organisations that have used the strategic management tool at least three times before. This long-term commitment to reconciliation is honoured with a certificate with distinction

The certificate proves that the employers have successfully completed the auditing and dialogue process offered by berufundfamilie Service GmbH and thus (continue to) use a strategic process to sustainably shape the compatibility of work or studies, family and private life. During the three-year term of the certificate, the main measures of their commitment include their individually drawn up target agreements and action programmes. berufundfamilie Service GmbH reviews the practical implementation annually.