Work to live, live to work?

nightime playgroundCTU policy analyst, Eileen Brown, argued at a forum last week that work life balance is core business for union members to be campaigning on.

She points to CTU research which says that New Zealand has an ingrained culture of ‘long unreasonable and excessive working hours’, which is taking a toll on employees, especially those with families.

The effect of over work on children is often underestimated. Brown points to research by Barbara Pocock, which argues that ‘the work life collision’ is detrimental for children, parents, relationships, the division of unpaid labour, part time workers, older workers, those in need of care and our ability to be involved in our wider communities.

Currently the CTU is lobbying for parliament to pass the Flexible Working Hours Bill, which aims to encourage employers to provide flexible working hours for parents with young children or disabled dependents. The CTU would like to see eligibility for such flexibility extended to all workers not just those with dependents. Similar legislation has already proved successful in Britain.

According the NZ Equal Opportunities Trust, 93% of parents identified flexible working hours as the change they would most like to see in workplaces.

(thanks to thepatrick for the photo)

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