While kids look forward to the summer holidays well in advance, this time of year often poses great challenges for working mothers and fathers: who will take care of the children over the weeks when the parents are at work? To promote work-life balance, which forms an important part of PostFinance’s corporate culture, PostFinance has been offering childcare support during the summer holidays since 2016 – either with the holiday week at the headquarters in Bern, or with a financial contribution to an external childcare service such as a tennis or horse-riding camp throughout Switzerland that the parents can choose themselves.
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Balancing work and family life: how parents, children and the employer benefit from the PostFinance holiday week
Who looks after the children during the long summer holidays? PostFinance helps employed mothers and fathers solve this predicament for five working days with the holiday week in Bern and the support of individual regional childcare services. The measure, designed for more work-life balance, benefits not only the parents and children, but also the employer.
Holiday week as a break for staff and the employer
The offer is part of a wide range of measures designed to help fathers and mothers juggle family and work. This includes flexible working models and part-time work as well as fair wages and attractive holiday models, including the option of buying three additional weeks of holiday per year. For its commitment in the areas of work-life balance, family and private life as well as gender equality, the financial institution repeatedly receives awards such as the “Family AND Work” label. The holiday week in particular shows how everyone involved benefits from such commitments: parents can entrust their children to childcare during these five days and concentrate fully on their work. For PostFinance as an employer, the holiday week has a positive impact on resource planning and employee retention, while the children enjoy a varied holiday programme.
What goes on during the holiday week
But what does the holiday week actually have to offer? During the holiday week in Bern, children from age five to twelve have the opportunity to take part in various workshops. The different activities are developed and offered in cooperation with the Migros Klubschule – each with a specific focus, which in 2022 was the environment. This year, in addition to popular activities such as playing football, singing summer songs or trampolining, the holiday week included special workshops in which children made their own beeswax cloths, spent a morning in the forest or made flower boxes. Holiday week 2022 was dedicated to sustainability, which also concerns PostFinance as a company. You can find out which path the financial institution is following in terms of sustainability in the corporate responsibility section of its website.
Around 60 boys and girls take part in the holiday week each year. We asked two mothers and a father why they signed up their children for holiday week 2022, where the kids are looked after and get meals between 7.30 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Ulrike Meisel, Risk Assessment & Control
“This is the third time our seven-year-old daughter has taken part in the holiday week in Bern. Since my husband and I don’t have our parents nearby to look after our daughter, and because the day school is closed throughout the school holidays, the Holiday Week is a great way to cover some holiday time. During the five days, we don’t have to juggle childcare supervision. And our daughter always looks forward to this time very much. When I applied for a job at PostFinance, the holiday week didn’t exist yet. But when I heard about the offer in 2017, I immediately signed up as a volunteer, even though my daughter was too young to join in at the time. I really wanted to support this initiative and was able to make many contacts along the way. What PostFinance has set up with the holiday week is just great. The holiday week shows that PostFinance is sincere about its commitment to promoting a balance of work, family and private life. Because it’s making it happen.”
Christian Oggier, Deputy Head of AML & Tax
“It’s our five-year-old daughter’s first holiday week. I signed her up so she can benefit from the exciting programme and have a great experience. At the moment we have enough childcare options for the summer holidays in the form of daycare centers and childminders. However, I can imagine that in the future we’d be happy if the children could join an external activity programme for at least one week during the school holidays. When I first heard about the holiday Week from my colleagues, I thought: “That sounds like a really cool thing”. At that time, however, our daughter was still too small to join. The service shows how family-friendly the company is. All that’s missing now is a day care center at our headquarters”.
Claudia Kesselring, People Manager HR Solutions
“My daughter, who’s seven years old, is taking part in the holiday week for the third time, and my five-year-old son for the first time. I signed up our children because the holiday week takes away the pressure of organizing childcare during the long summer holidays, and at the same time, it’s a great programme for the kids. Sophia was very enthusiastic the two previous times and is looking forward to it again this year. Covering the five weeks’ summer holidays is a challenge when both parents are working, and then you also want to have a family holiday together. This year we can count on the holiday week and the grandparents to cover two further weeks before we enjoy our family holiday. The holiday week is an amazing service, and fitting for an employer that attaches great importance to balancing work and family life. I’m so moved and extremely grateful to see how much of their time and energy the organizers and helpers put into the holiday week.