German Environment Agency awarded quality seal for compatibility of work, family and private life

Eight women and one man posed for a photo at UBA Dessau, smiling and holding glasses for a toast and the Work and Family Audit certificate in the cameraClick to enlarge
UBA celebrates its audit berufundfamilie award by toasting with non-alcoholic sparkling wine.

Left to right: Christiane Krafft (Staff Council), Katrin Ebner (Social counsel), Leonard Op-de-Hipt (Youth and Trainee representative), Michaela Klingner, Claudia Schliwa and Janine Pocha (Personnel), Susanne Lukas (Head of Personnel Unit), Christine Voigt (Administration, Central Services) and Franziska Lorenz (Personnel)

Source: Martin Stallmann / Umweltbundesamt

The German Environment Agency (UBA) has been awarded the audit berufundfamilie certificate on 21 June 2022 in recognition of its efforts to foster a healthy family- and life-phase-conscious culture at the workplace. An online event to celebrate the award was attended by well-wishers, including Federal Minister for Family Affairs Lisa Paus, John-Philip Hammersen, Managing Director of the non-profit Hertie Foundation, and Oliver Schmitz, Managing Director of berufundfamilie Service GmbH, as well as keynote speaker Prof. Dr. Aladin El-Mafaalani.

The German Environment Agency (UBA) had completed the dialogue procedure for the audit, which is open to employers who have been using the management tool for at least nine years to implement family- and life-phase-conscious personnel policy. UBA was first awarded the audit certificate in 2006, which was valid for three years. The second dialogue procedure followed after three re-audits, by which the certificate was confirmed.

Certificates were awarded to 343 entities this year. UBA is one of 29 institutions which has been awarded the certificate for the 6th time. Seven of those are located in Saxony-Anhalt, home to UBA’s main office.

The audit is done by berufundfamilie Service GmbH, which will set up another dialogue procedure in three years for quality assurance of the certificate. The aim of the dialogue procedure is to maintain the high level of development of the family- and life phase-conscious personnel policy and to tap the optimisation potential in individual selected areas.

The 1,685 UBA staff members can take advantage of the family-friendly measures. This includes the expansion of remote working with plans to support managers in different phases of life with different leadership models as well as maintain offers for families.

Oliver Schmitz, Managing Director of berufundfamilie Service GmbH, said during the online event: “The coronavirus pandemic has once again raised our awareness of how much the development, implementation and benefit of work-life balance offers depend on mutual cooperation - the cooperation between employers and employees and, above all, between employees themselves. In short, a family- and life-phase-conscious personnel policy requires thinking and acting in solidarity. Mutual support and cooperation enable or strengthen sustainable compatibility solutions and create the basis for a fair and healthy working atmosphere – especially in times of radical change. This is also demonstrated by organisations certified with the audit berufundfamilie and audit familiengerechte hochschule. This year's certificate recipients have developed countless ideas and measures before and during the crisis that absolutely underpin our annual motto "reconcile with each other - healthy, fair, together" and are also forward-looking for the respective organisation and for the entire working world. We are therefore not only happy about what has been achieved, but also about what is yet to come!"

The web-based event was dedicated to the 343 employers – 158 companies, 152 institutions and 33 universities – which successfully went through the berufundfamilie audit process or audit familiengerechte hochschule in the past twelve months.

audit berufundfamilie (work and family) and audit familiengerechte hochschule (family-friendly university

The audit, which can be used in all sectors and company pf all sizes, records the status quo of the family- and life phase-conscious measures on offer, systematically develops the company's individual potential and ensures that family awareness is anchored in the organisational culture. After successful completion of this process, an independent board of trustees made up of prominent representatives from business, science, politics and associations awards the audit certificate. Since its introduction in 1998, more than 1,800 employers have been awarded the audit certificate. A total of 996 organisations are currently certified according to audit berufundfamilie or audit familiengerechte hochschule, including 442 companies, 450 institutions and 104 universities. This has benefited 2.08 million employees and more than 1.37 million students.

Franziska Lorenz, project manager at UBA, said: “I am glad to help UBA on its way into the modern world of work. For us, health and work-life balance go hand in hand. Developing a culture of communication is important at UBA.”

The berufundfamilie Service GmbH is a service provider and think tank in the field of compatibility of work, family and private life. They supervise companies, institutions and universities in implementing a sustainable family- and life-phase-conscious personnel policy and establishing family-friendly research and study conditions. Their main service is the audit berufundfamilie (work and family) and the audit familiengerechte hochschule (family-friendly university) which was initiated by the non-profit Hertie Foundation. The audit is the strategic management tool that employers use to set up their personnel policies that take family life and life-phases into consideration and to increase their attractiveness as employers  More than 1,800 employers have received the audit certificate since 1998.

Umweltbundesamt Hauptsitz

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06844 Dessau-Roßlau

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