Annie Boutet | Journalist
In Quebec, the Programme de soutien financier aux milieux de travail en matière de conciliation travail-famille, which provides financial assistance to companies to promote work-life balance, subsidizes 50% of the initiative, up to $50,000.
In addition to financial support, Famille Québec (Quebec ministry of the family) also provides tools and practical advice on its website to help businesses implement work-life balance initiatives.
Along the same lines, businesses who want to be recognized for their concrete efforts and practices can receive work-life balance certification from the Bureau de Normalisation du Québec, which has created the norme Conciliation travail-famille (work-life balance standard).
"This standard sets out a specific approach for employers so that they have a framework for implementing work-life balance initiatives," says Lachance. "It includes mandatory requirements, like commitment from management, compliance with workplace laws and regulations and setting up a work-life balance commmittee. Other specific requirements, like flexibility in organizing the work and goods and services provided to employees in the workplace allow them to go beyond the minimum requirements. It all works on a points system, and businesses can choose one of four levels of certification."
For more information on the financial assistance program and the work-life balance standard, go to www.mfa.gouv.qc.ca (in French only).
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