On June 23, 2016, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) was awarded the audit berufundfamilie (”Work and Family“) certificate for the third time for its family-friendly policies. Some of the MDC’s new measures include health promotion offers and a service for employees who have to care for family members.
Good working conditions in science are a key factor enabling researchers to focus on their academic work. Because they improve employee commitment and satisfaction, they are also important for attracting the best staff and new talent and for boosting the competitiveness of scientific institutions in an international research environment. For this reason, the MDC has been advocating a family-friendly approach for several years and has introduced numerous measures to help employees at different phases in their lives.
The MDC has significantly developed its family-friendly policies, particularly in the area of occupational health management. Employees can benefit from the services offered by CampusVital, the occupational health management facility for institutions and companies on the Berlin-Buch campus. The services on offer include a “Health ticket,” which is available to all interested employees and comes loaded with initial credit that can be used to pay for fitness classes, for example. Health seminars for managers also form part of the program, as do joint campaigns on topics like vaccinations and physical mobility.
The MDC also provides a service aimed at employees with relatives who require care or may do so in the foreseeable future. In collaboration with an external service provider, the MDC offers advice and other support services. In future, there will also be an “emergency” childcare service for those times when childcare arrangements fall through at the last moment and urgent work commitments prevent parents from looking after their children themselves.
The certificate was awarded to the MDC at a ceremony in Berlin. According to the event organizer, a total of 297 employers received the certificate: 163 companies, 110 institutions, and 24 universities.
The MDC first received the „berufundfamilie“ certificate in 2010 and passed its first re-audit in 2013.The period of three years between audits is used to implement the measures developed jointly with employees to make work more compatible with family life.