Creating options

ERGO gives its employees access to a wide range of flextime models to help them combine their careers with their personal and family lives. We are certified as being a company aware of the issues surrounding employees’ family lives, and have developed a range of instruments to meet their needs, including part-time working arrangements. For child and elder care, employees in Germany can rely on family services of external providers.

In the light of demographic change and an impending shortage of specialists on the labour market, the importance of supporting employees with family responsibilities is set to keep on increasing in the future. We at ERGO are acutely aware of this issue, and have responded by making employees’ ability to combine their careers with their family lives an integral part of our corporate culture. Above and beyond this, ERGO is active in encouraging family-friendly corporate policies across society; for instance, we are a member of the “Erfolgsfaktor Familie” (Family as a Success Factor) network initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

Family-friendly – and that’s official

In 2002, ERGO first received the German “Career and Family” (berufundfamilie®) certification for its policies helping employees to balance their careers with their family lives and for further objectives of its HR work that demonstrate awareness of employees‘ family issues. The certificate is awarded by the BerufundFamilie Service ggmbH in the context of a three-year process of development and monitoring. ERGO regularly undergoes the independent audit. Independent studies confirm that higher employee satisfaction translates into higher-quality work. Taking this principle to heart, ERGO is consciously committed to sustainably family-friendly HR policies.

Made-to-measure models to meet every need

Employees at ERGO are able, in line with country-specific regulations and arrangements, to reduce their working hours for a specified period of time or take a sabbatical for family reasons without losing their jobs. In this way, employees with caring responsibilities for children or other family members are able to manage their work flexibly around their role in the family. One example of such policies that exerts a strong appeal to employees in Germany is our company parental leave, which employees can use to extend their legal parental leave by up to three years – without losing their right to return to work full-time afterwards. Parents can also split this period up and use part of it later on in their child’s life, such as during their school-starting phase. In order to keep in touch with new mothers and fathers, ERGO has initiated a parents’ network, among other projects.

In addition to all this, employees can convert special payments such as Christmas or holiday bonuses into up to 44 additional days of annual leave, enabling them to work four-day or 30-hour weeks without losing their full-time status. Furthermore, we are guaranteeing employees taking a family sabbatical of up to a year a position of equal value in the same area of the business upon their return. We also allow employees to take a short-notice “family break” of up to twelve months to care for family members, receiving half of their usual salary during this period and for the period of the equivalent length after their return to work.

On hand to help: The family services and childcare

An external family services provider (“pme Familienservice”) supports our employees in Germany when looking for day nurseries, baby minders or au-pairs for child care. In case of emergencies, such as illness of the child's regular carer, our cooperation partner can also organize ad hoc care. Another specialized assistance service provider (“”) is available for advice and active support for employees taking care of elderly family members, and also informs about related financing and legal frameworks in elder care. Our employees can use the company’s advisory and agency services free of charge, and there is a round-the-clock hotline for them to turn to in emergencies.

All major German locations have parent and child offices for employees to work in for a day at a time, featuring one or two desks with all required equipment and a play corner for the children. Furthermore, at major locations such as City Nord in Hamburg and Lindenthal in Cologne, we reserve places at a range of day nurseries for our employees; we are planning to extend this service step by step to other locations, with particular emphasis on places for under-threes. In Düsseldorf, our cooperation partner “pme Familienservice” operates a childcare facility (“E-Kids”) at our Company headquarters for children up to age three with employee-friendly opening hours.

School holidays frequently prove a particular challenge for working parents, whose annual leave usually falls short of the time in which schools and nurseries are closed and for whom finding appropriate holiday childcare is often a difficult and expensive undertaking. In response to this need, ERGO cooperates with other organisations at its various German locations, for example with "kidz-playground" at its Düsseldorf and Hamburg locations.