Only 2% of jobs in Bulgaria are part-time compared to the EU average 30% as per Eurostat. We want to engage in discussion mothers, employers and governmental entities on the reasons behind the numbers.
Statistically, the more children a carer (primer carer including father, adopter, LGBT+) has, the less time she/he spends in a paid job. Women are more willing to accept a part time job as per Eurostat, as it gives more flexibility, yet at the same time the offering is low in the country.
Plovdiv and Sofia, Central West Bulgaria
On one hand the system currently is focused on maternity, not on supporting work life balance for mothers and there is a need of developing solutions for more flexibility in supporting families. On the other hand only 2% of the job-offering in Bulgaria is for part time compared to 30% in the EU, and 74% in the Netherlands among mothers. There are needs to understand the reasons behind the numbers from first hand involved parties in Bulgaria (mothers, employers and state institutions) and to engage them in constructive dialogue for finding solutions. 80% of workers declare the employer decides on the working time giving minimal flexibility and thus forcing mothers to stay in the bigger urban areas causing overpopulation and insufficiencies of some services.
Project primary targets mothers (as cumulative of main carer) from cities and employers. Approximately 400K mothers in Bulgaria are affected by employment. According to Eurostat the more children a woman has, the less time she spends on a paid job, which is a barrier for employment. There is a concern in employers of overregulation of the state and control issues of the employees. Plovdiv is perfect example of evolving labor market attracting many representatives of small communities from the surrounding network of villages, needing flexible working arrangements in terms of time, transportation, etc. We expect to engage about 2500 mothers (age 18-50) and 50 employers from the selected regions. Thus having representative quota of opinions it will help to scale the solutions on the country.
We aim to gather data and include all actors in series of collaborative discussions and co-creation labs for solutions development. We will:
-set online and desk surveys for knowledge of employment rights, type of current employment and desired one to understand mothers' needs
-set monthly events and online support groups for carers to raise awareness and execution to ensure grass route solutions from the mothers for part time working options.
-set seminars with HR association to understand implementation of information on legal rights and part time/flex/remote job options burdens
-align a meeting with legal entities to understand the view point on implementation of Directive 1158
-prepare a feedback set by the three involved parties above
-organise round table discussion with the three parties to review the feedback and select easy next steps
- engage influencers to promote working mothers rights and how to find legal support for the implementation
- create awareness campaign by creating a platform recapturing the steps, the discussion, the outcomes for the round tables for mothers' rights and part time employment options.
Aiming to provide more flexibility for working mothers we expect as a direct result from the project to increase the part time job options for mothers in Bulgaria by from 2% to 10%. We expect to:
- increased awareness in mothers for their rights and job options
- provided mechanism and knowledge for mothers to advocate for themselves
- endorsed employers for benefits of offering work life balance options as part time jobs for working mothers
- provide legal entities with ready solutions for helping mothers go back in the workforce through part time options.
As a longer impact we expect to get closer the interests and opinions of the mothers and their employers who supported by the state will be able to build more flexible and balanced labor relations and thus more productive.
By hearing out the opinions on part time job options in Bulgaria by the three parties - mothers, employers and state bodies, we will help understand the reasons behind the low number of part time job offering. By talking and supporting mothers with the implementation of their current rights and options, we will educate them which will empower them to voice out their needs and have work-life balance that prefer. Participation and co-creation in the process will motivate mother and employers to have more active positions in building the labor relations in their community and be equal partners. Following the principle "nothing for us without us" will provide for delivering grass-root sustainable solutions for all parties.
We ourselves are working mothers who participated in extending the highly paid parental leave to 410 days in Bulgaria. We ourselves were not aware of our rights and we did not use them properly also as we were scared that if we do, we will sacrifice our careers.
At the same time we see a part time job or project based job is a great opportunity used by mothers in the EU, while it is not offered here. If this is a desired opportunity for more mothers and an option for employers, but it needs a legislation change we would like to explore the outcomes of the discussions. If the current situations is good the mothers, who are affected the most by COVID, we would like to support them through the process by making their voice heard.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Website (domain 2 years, website design & content building on legal rights) - 2,400 euro
Online promotion for events for mothers - 500 euro
Events organisation (8 events) - 25, 600 euro (travel & accommodation included, PR, costs for renting venues for round tables, food & beverage for the participants, moderators)
Personnel costs - 13,000 euro (Legal fees for supporting mothers for 1 year - 5,000 euro, project supervisory 8,000 euro)
We would like to get perspective on the incentives for part time job options for mothers in other countries.