Equal inclusion of fathers in family life and child care is beneficial to all – men, children, women, employers and society as a whole.

With the “Fathers and Employers in Action” project we introduce the topic of work-life balance of men and the obstacles they encounter in the process. At the foreground of the project we place firstly the meaning and the role of equal fatherhood in family life and secondly the mutual cooperation of the employed fathers, employers and trade unions in development and trial of new work-life balance possibilities which address current needs of the employed fathers.

In contemporary societies family life is distinctly subordinated to work life and increased work related burdens and insecurities make work-life balance of the employed women and men even more difficult.

Along with changes in the sphere of labour, changes have been made also in the field of fatherhood in the past few decades. Today fathers are included in child care to a greater extent than in the past generations. With equal fatherhood and inclusion in family life men strive to overcome traditional gender roles and to achieve a greater equality in partnership, however, in doing this they do not always receive support from the society.

In the sphere of paid work there are still some unexploited possibilities available that could, for instance, introduce measures for work – life balance. Companies introducing work-life balance measures have some direct and some indirect benefits.

Therefore mutual cooperation between employed fathers, trade unions and employers in the process of needs identification and possible measures definition with due consideration given to diversity of work-life balance needs (different forms of employments and workplace positions) is of utmost importance.

About the project

In the beginning of 2015, “Fathers and Employers in Action (ODA)” project financed by Norwegian Financial Mechanism Programme 2009-2014 was launched. Project partnership consists of: the Peace Institute, Faculty of Social Sciences (University of Ljubljana), the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia, Nicha LLC and Norwegian partner Reform – Resource Centre for Men.

Project objectives

Enhanced awareness about gender equality in Slovenia

Defeminisation of work-life balance

Acknowledgement and inclusion of needs diversity in work-life balance processes

Target groups

Employed fathers



General public

  • At the project Fathers and Employers in Action (ODA) we are conducting a pilot testing of the Flexible package of measures ODA, which is aimed at better reconciliation of work and family. The measures in particularly address the needs of working fathers and take into account the abilities of the employers. They are part of a broader model that will be tested for six months in RTV Slovenia, Support & Trade Ltd., the Police and TM Vista Ltd. (GoOpti). The model was developed in cooperation with working fathers, employers and the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia.
    From "Project ODA tests the model for reconciliation of work and family in four companies"Read more...
  • In the context of the pilot implementation of the Flexible package of measures ODA, thematic workshops were conducted for fathers who are employed in the Police, RTV Slovenia, Support & Trade d.o.o and GoOpti / TM Vista d.o.o.. At the initiative of the fathers, workshops were aimed to skills and knowledge acquisition in communication, conflict resolution and stress management. The acquired knowledge can be used in both – the work and family environment. The debate was focused on concrete examples from job and home environment.
    From "Communication skills, conflict resolution and stress management for fathers"Read report

Who we are

Peace Institute

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences

  • Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrčela: portretna fotografija

    Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrčela, PhD

    Coordinator at FSS

  • Janez Štebe: portretna fotografija

    Janez Štebe, PhD


  • Janja Vuga: portretna fotografija

    Janja Vuga, PhD


The Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia

  • Andreja Poje: portretna fotografija

    Andreja Poje, MA

    Coordinator at AFTUS

  • Irena Štamfelj: portretna fotografija

    Irena Štamfelj


Nicha LLC

  • Lidia Pavlin: portretna fotografija

    Lidia Pavlin, MA

    Coordinator at Nicha LLC

  • Marjeta Kirn Kljajič: portretna fotografija

    Marjeta Kirn Kljajič, MA

    Project Assistant

Reform – resource centre for men

  • Ole Bredesen Nordfjell: portretna fotografija

    Ole Bredesen Nordfjell

    Coordinator at Reform

  • Daniel Paul Getz: portretna fotografija

    Daniel Paul Getz


  • Volker Baisch provides counselling for companies on how to become more fathers friendly.
  • Reform - Resource Centre for Men is a politically independent not-for-profit organisation from Norway, working towards gender equality from a male perspective. Reform is also partner organization of the project Fathers and Employers in Action.
  • Project Reconciling Work and Family Life in collective agreements: The role of social partners in promoting gender equality (GEQUAL) addresses the challenge of how the social partners can contribute to the promotion of gender equality, in particular through the inclusion of this topic in collective agreements.
  • Association of young people, parents and children offers day care and learning support for children.
  • Project Promote Equal Pay to Diminish Pension Gap, Poverty and Social Exclusion aims at awareness rising about the impact of gender based pay gap on pension gap and feminization of poverty.
  • MenCare is a global organization for promotion of just and nonviolent fatherhood, with the goal to increase wellbeing of the families and gender equality and to improve the health of mothers, fathers and children.
  • The Role of Men in Gender Equality - European strategies & insights, research report.
  • eMANcipator is an organization for men and gender equality from the Netherlands.
  • Information on the rights under insurance for parental protection (paternity leave, maternity leave and leave for care and protection of children) from Ministry of Work, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.
  • Project EQPOWEREC: Gender Equality in Distribution of Economic Power is addressing gender equality in decision-making in the field of economy. Main goal is to achieve a greater awareness of the issue and to increase gender equality in economic life in Slovenia.
  • Counselling Centres help and support Children, Adolescents and Parents at solving learning, emotional, upbringing, behavioural, psychosocial and psychiatric problems. Help is provided by psychologists, pedopsychiatrists, special pedagogues, pedagogues, logopedists and social workers.
  • AEIOU theatre is creating performances for children from 6 months to 4 years of age. The group creates visual and physical theatre as well as object theatre, where theatre arts are intertwined with other art forms.
  • Project Care Work between Individualization, Globalization and Socialization point of departure is the shifting responsibilities within the provision of welfare, highlighting the shift from socialization to commodification, individualization and globalization of care, i.e. from public welfare provision to increased private arrangements.
  • Ringaraja provides information and counselling on fertilization, pregnancy, care for babies and uprising of children.
  • Project Obtaining Political Equality by New Names – OPENN goals are: increasing knowledge/awareness of the public about women's obstacles for involvement in/access to decision-making positions and about benefits of women’s participation in politics; increasing interest for women’s participation in politics; increasing readiness for implementing measures for higher women’s representation/inclusion and empowerment in politics; increasing knowledge, capacities and mutual support of women in local politics.
  • Roundtable Men Fighting Stereotypes, which was organized within the conference Gender Equality – What do Men Have to Do with It? Men as fathers, men in care work, men in media representations…
  • MenEngage is a global network of organizations and groups which unites men and boys in strivings for gender equality.
  • Familylab Slovenia strives to preserve and promote values and principles of the renown family therapist Jesper Juul. They offer support, counselling and help for development of parental competences.

Advisory board

Advisory board is a monitoring body with the mission of offering professional support to the project group, informing interested (professional and general) public about the Fathers and Employers in Action project and its findings. Its membership was formed with a desire to enable inclusion of target groups’ representation and to enhance impact on changes in practice.


(in alphabetical order)

  • Marko Funkl: portretna fotografija

    Marko Funkl

    Movement for Decent Work and Welfare Society
  • Metka Kuhar: portretna fotografija

    dr. Metka Kuhar

    University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Sonja Robnik: portretna fotografija

    dr. Sonja Robnik

    Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities
  • Iztok Šori: portretna fotografija

    Jože Smole

    Association of Employers of Slovenia

Partner organizations

Peace Institute

The Peace Institute is a non-profit research institution developing interdisciplinary research work in the fields of social and human sciences. PI is a non-governmental civil society organisation active on national, EU and international levels, connecting academic perspective with concrete social and public policy engagement in the fields of human rights, gender equality, media and diverse minorities. PI has a legacy of over 150 large, medium and small research and other projects carried out in cooperation with numerous national and international partners. It reaches into the fields of marginalised social and political topics that have not found their space in activities of other institutions; in last years those were issues of the Erased, situations of Roma, migrants, issues of visibility and space of ethnic and other minorities in the media, situation of new unrecognized minorities, intimate citizenship (LGBT), etc. PI’s role of an important agent in the field of equality and rights in Slovenia has been built also with publishing of five book series. In the series Politike numerous studies on (in)equality, especially from the fields of gender and minorities were published.

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences

University of Ljubljana brings together teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate study programs, superior scientific and publication work.

Researchers at the Faculty of Social Studies systematically analyse employment, topics related to the proposed project including the reconciliation of professional and family life. In the last decade the Faculty collaborated in the following international research projects related to reconciliation of professional and family life:

Changing Labour Markets, Welfare Policies and Citizenship, COST A 13- WG on Gender issues (1999-2003)

Gender, Parenthood and the Changing European Workplace, 5th Framework Programme of the European Union (2003-2005)

Gender, Work and Employment in Ten Candidate Countries of Central and Eastern Europe, European Foundation (2003-2004)

Young mothers/families friendly employment – Equal programme, ESS (2004-2006)

Parents between work and family, Equal Opportunities Office of the Republic of Slovenia (2004-2005)

Reconciling work and welfare in Europe (RECWOWE), FP6, Network of Excellence. Strand: Family, work and welfare regimes (2006-2011). Among many publications resulting from this project in which researchers from FSS were co-authors is a new book Work Life Balance (Oxford University Press, 2014) edited by the world known researcher on fatherhood, prof. Barbara Hobson.

Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia

ZSSS is a voluntary and democratic organisation, independent of political parties, parliament, government and religious communities, founded on 6 April 1990. It comprises 22 trade unions from different sectors from the whole of Slovenia. Since 1999 the ZSSS is a full member of the European Trade Union Confederation and cooperates in various bodies of the European Union, among them in Administrative Board of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions and in Governing Board at the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.

ZSSS is more intensely engaged with the topics related to equal opportunities form men and women via the Committee on Equal Opportunities, led by Mag. Andrew Poje. The Committee is focused on finding ways to provide equal opportunities in the context of work for both genders. Efforts are also held at various negotiations, when the representatives of the Trade Unions advocate for the rights of women’s employees. The activities in the field of equal opportunities were comprehensively addressed in the project “Gender pay gap – from expertise to action”, funded by European Commission in 2013.

Nicha LLC

Nicha LLC is a full service communication agency – graphic and web design, event management, multimedia and public relations. They offer comprehensive support and expertise in the field of communication. With the eleven-year experience in the market they have gained a number of reputable clients and references, to mention only two: campaign “Ustavimo delo na črno” and “Enakost spolov”. They organized at least hundred events, from professional and educational conferences, entertainment and social events to multi-day festivals and congresses. They organized more than hundred events, such as expert and educational conferences, social and entertainment events and daily festivals and congress. Among other things, they carried out a series of highly successful events for the Ministry of Economic Affairs under the title “Postani podjetnica” to promote women’s entrepreneurship. Owners of the company Nicha are women and mothers, and for eleven years they successfully balance their professional and private life.

Reform – resource centre for men

Reform is a non- profit organisation, an NGO in Oslo, providing counselling, educational and research activties. It receives annually funding from the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs. Reform also initiates and participates in national and international projects.

Reforms objectives are threefold: (1)To improve and develop knowledge about boys and men. (2) To promote male perspectives in the media and in the general public – related to gender equality. (3) To help men on the local level through several services.

Reform is providing diverse set of activities: Political and societal advocacy in press and media, Government contact, Individual counselling service, Anger management groups, Legal advisory service, Men’s helpline, Publications, Seminars and Lectures.

Reform has many experiences in participating in national and European projects (among them):

Equal Partners – Reconsidering the Role of Men in Work and Private Life (2005 – 2006)

FOCUS – Fostering Caring Masculinities (2006-2007)

Papparingen (2009-2010). The objective of the project was to test and map out how to organise groups for fathers of newborn children in Norway. In the project three successful pilot groups were established with aim to raise the fathers’ competence in childrearing and to include them as equal childcares in the families from the start.

Tiltak 33 (2012 – ongoing). The project run courses and trainings about fathers and gender equality. The target groups of the courses are public servants providing services for families with young children.


Logotip Norway Grants

About the project

At the centre of the project we place equal fatherhood and the meaning and the role of mutual cooperation between employed fathers, employers and trade unions in development and trial of new work-life balance strategies and possibilities which address current needs of the employed fathers.

We are focused on two groups of men confronting different conditions hindering them from equal participation in care for family:

fathers in leading, managing positions whose workplace position requires long work days, unlimited availability and mobility

fathers in precarious employments, such as self-employed, contractual workers, student workers, i.e. employment forms that are not in the least addressed by traditional work-life balance measures

This is vital for making changes towards greater gender equality – for both, men and women – in all fields of life and at the same time also in fostering changes in the sphere of labour that will benefit both, the employed and the employers. In raising awareness of fathers, employers and general public about equal fatherhood and the meaning of work-life balance this project contributes to acknowledgement of the importance of the role of equal fatherhood in care and upbringing of children and family life.

Project objectives

Promotion of equal inclusion of men and women in family life and child care enables gender equality in all fields of life – in private sphere, on the labour market and in politics.

Promotion of enhanced inclusion of men into the gender equality and work-life balance policies, utilisation of measures and their co-creation – together with employers and trade unions.

Observance of needs diversity – with the emphasis on equal fatherhood of the employed men in leading, managing positions and of youth in precarious forms of employment.

With qualitative and quantitative research and an analysis of situation the project will identify needs and obstacles encountered by employed fathers in work-life balance process, whereby we will focus on two groups of fathers: fathers in leading and managing positions and fathers in precarious employments.

In cooperation with the employed fathers, employers and trade unions we will develop a model of work-life balance measures and carry out a 6-month pilot trial in selected companies. On the basis of conducted research and pilot trial results we will prepare recommendations for policy-makers and foster labour organisations to evaluate existing work-life balance measures and possible introduction of new measures.

Target groups

Employed fathers

Employed fathers in leading and managing positions and fathers in precarious employments represent two diametrically opposite ends of social and economic power and resources:

men in leading, managing positions confront norms of “ideal worker” and long working days with unlimited time availability and geographical mobility as obstacles in work-life balance.

group of fathers in precarious employments is, however, ignored by traditional work-life balance measures. Their insecure and composite forms of work require completely different work-life balance measures.

Quantitative study will include at least 200 employed fathers from all regions of Slovenia. Qualitative study will include 20 employed fathers. Pilot trial will include at least 40 fathers.


Lack of awareness about the meaning of work-life balance for satisfaction and job performance of the employees and the meaning of needed measures for the employed fathers.

Employers from all regions of Slovenia will be invited to cooperate, and at least 10-15 will be included in the project. 4 employers will be included in the pilot trial.

Media and general public


Živa Humer, project leader
Phone: +386 1 234 77 20

Follow our work

Project coordinator

Peace Institute
Institute for Contemporary Social and Political Studies
Metelkova 6, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Phone: +386 1 234 77 20
Fax: +386 1 234 77 22
Email: info@mirovni-institut.si

Project web page has been produced with the financial support of Norwegian Financial Mechanism Programme. The contents of the project web page are the sole responsibility of the Peace Institute and can in no way be taken to reflect the view of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism Programme.