Balancing work and family life has become one of the priority topics in Estonia and the rest of Europe. Conflict between work and family life is not a problem only on an individual level, but it also has an impact on the birth rate and the employment of women. The study analyses the spread of flexible work forms and the impact they have on reconcilation of work and family life.
Flexible work forms offer people a lot of options to find the balance between work and family life. However, employers must take into account the wishes and needs of the individual workers, since without an individual approach the flexible working arrangements might do more harm than good. The reason why mothers of young children wish to work is not only the need to earn income, but also the need to have different roles in life. Such decisions take into account the attitudes spread in the society, by which men must work, but at the same time women are not just mothers, but workers, too.
Being a parent has a remarkable impact on employment in Estonia. The traditional flexible work forms wide-spread in Europe are rare in Estonia, which may be the reason of the decrease in employment level of mothers with young children. At the same time, Estonian employers favour flexible work forms, although there are also negative attitudes among them. Still, most of the employers are positive about resolving the work organisation of family people.