“The certification is not seen as a goal in itself,” explains António Duarte, Human Resources officer at Bondalti, “but rather as a consequence of the social and corporate responsibility policies that we have been implementing for several years”. 


Many of the measures contained in the annual action plan, which presents a set of indicators to which the company has to respond, have long been part of the daily life of Bondalti, where the reconciliation of family life and work life is based on flexibility, commitment and mutual respect. But it is not enough to be on paper: the “efr” certification provides for audits in order to understand whether the measures are being effectively implemented and used. 

Continuous improvement processes are essential in this certification, which provides that companies voluntarily self-regulate themselves in this field, after which they are audited every three years. “The efr movement promotes the reconciliation between personal life and professional life, but it has a set of measures of a more general nature, for guaranteeing people's well-being”, explains António Duarte. "In this sense, Bondalti already encompasses a large set of sustained measures, which withstand the test of time, but it is committed to finding opportunities for improvement and continuing to invest in this path", he concludes.


In a table where “A” represents the maximum level - which has not yet been attributed to any company - Bondalti received a “C+” rating. The objective is to continue to improve and rise in this classification.

Margarida Queiroz, a senior Innovation and Sustainability technician who has worked at Bondalti for about five years, explains why she considers the company deserving of this distinction: “This reconciliation of personal and professional life is an asset for workers. Not only for those who benefit from this more 'family' aspect, for example, in terms of supporting their children, but also for those, like me, who do not yet have this more extended family. For me, for now, corporate volunteering is one of the most interesting and relevant possibilities. With this certification, we know that Bondalti is on the right track, because it includes measures that we have known about for years, but it also gives us the guarantee that this is the direction the company is committed to taking.”

Rosa Calinas, Operations Management Advisor, who has been with the group for eight years, says that “Bondalti, which inherited the CUF's history, has been family-responsible for a century”. The values that have always governed the company have not changed, she says. However, the efr certification brings “the knowledge advantage”, she says, to explain: “efr measures are more widespread, are available for consultation, and this allows people to see, know and give their opinion, translating into a construction that is continuous and unified. The fact that we are a medium-sized company, almost allows us to adjust the measures to the needs of each employee.” She recognises the value of all measures, but as a mother, support in this area is particularly important. She recalls, in this regard, the example of the COVID-19 pandemic: “Schools have closed and we have never, even for a moment, found ourselves in the distressing situation of not being able to stay with our children. The company saw us first as parents and then as workers. And that is very valuable. It gives us a sense of family, of belonging.”


João de Mello, president of Bondalti, mentioned that the efr certification “is the culmination of a strategy defined by management”, in the sense of “reconciling the professional and family life of all the employees who work with us”.

Quality in employment, Time and space flexibility, Family support, Personal and professional development, Equal opportunities, Leadership and management styles. These are the six pillars on which Bondalti sustains connections with people and its strategy as a family-responsible company. 


Promoting the health and well-being of all employees comes first. It includes, in addition to the annual occupational medicine consultations, the availability of a general practitioner, a nurse in a remedial and preventive context, psychology, nutrition, physiotherapy and podiatry appointments. In addition, employees benefit from health and life insurance and supplementary sickness and child benefits paid by Social Security. Also free fruit, water, teas and coffees are available, as well as gifts on employees’ birthdays and Christmas gifts for the children. 

The flexibility of schedules, choice of holiday periods, possible shift changes and remote access to the company's network, allow for some manoeuvrability in the individual management of employees' time and space.


Among the countless family support measures, here are some that deserve a special mention: support in tax and/or financial management; justified and paid absence to accompany children up to 12 years old in doctor’s appointments or treatments; offer of a personalised maternity/paternity kit with various products for the baby, following the birth of an employee's child; offer of school kit in the 1st year of basic education; granting of annual subsidies for books and school supplies; annual summer gathering.


The focus on the valorisation of employees gains visibility, among others, in the provision of training through e-learning, in the Volunteer Programme of the José de Mello Group, or in the Ser Solidário project - in which employees are invited to deduct 1€ (or more, if they so wish) from their monthly salary to, at the end of the year, be donated to an institution, and the company will contribute another donation, in addition to the amount raised.

The Ser Solidário Project is shared by all employees

Equal opportunities promote the integration of people with disabilities and the promotion of internal recruitment to fill vacancies.


Leadership and management styles promote, among others, the existence of a Code of Ethics and Good Practices, which is disclosed and made available to all employees; intergenerational teams, which initiate processes of passing on knowledge and testimonies; participation and performance in Responsible Care Programmes; the Colombo Project (programme of ideas to promote and reward employees' creativity); and the existence of an efr team, with representatives from all company locations.

The “efr” movement is an initiative by the Fundación Másfamilia, which intends to present solutions to answer questions related to the reconciliation of family and work life. To be certified, companies have to comply with the requirements of the series of normative documents that make up the “efr 1000” family. 


Fundación Másfamilia is the owner of the private efr certification model, having entered into a partnership with the ACEGE for certification in Portugal, recognising the prestigious professional organisations that actively collaborate in the design, implementation and evaluation of this “efr” model.