Domain 3 – Staff organisation and procedures

This domain assesses the organisation of parliamentary employees, in terms of the share and position of women and men among staff, and the work-life balance measures available to them.

Regulations on the working conditions for parliamentary employees are usually similar to those of governments’ and other public authorities’ employees, although they may at times resemble the working conditions of elected members (i.e. irregular, long working hours) (IPU: 2016). Services that support the care responsibilities of parliamentary employees are therefore indicators of a parliament’s gender-sensitivity.

A gender-sensitive administration allows both women and men to develop their capacities and potential. It implements specific measures to allow women staff members to pursue professional development and career progression, includes flexible working arrangements and financial provisions for care services, assures equal value for women’s and men’s work in similar positions, and has formal equal pay policies.

Work-life balance is linked to better performance and higher productivity at work. Employees who benefit from flexible arrangements and supporting services are better able to cope with family responsibilities without interfering with their work tasks. This benefits employed people (and their families) and the functioning of public administrations.