27 August 2003
Workers Have Lives Outside Their Work
The CTU says the settlement of an employment discrimination case involving a worker who was unable to work on Saturdays because of his religious beliefs, demonstrates that employers need to recognise that workers have lives outside their workplaces.
“In this case it was the workers’ religious beliefs that should have been recognised by his employer but many other workers have family or community commitments that are as important to them and a responsible employer needs to take these into account,” says CTU President Ross Wilson.
“Employers must acknowledge that workers have a life beyond their job and that a healthy balance must be struck between work demands and a workers’ home life.”
The CTU’s “Get a Life” Campaign aims to promote a healthy balance between work and life through changes to legislation and the negotiation of collective agreements.
“This case highlights the need for an employment law that actively promotes the negotiation of collective agreements.”
“It is through collective agreements that processes can be established that enable workers and their unions to sit down with an employer and find a solution that accommodates the needs of all parties when conflicts like these arise,” says Ross Wilson.