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Flexible working hours needed

16 February 2006

Flexible working hours needed to meet realties of our working lives, says CTU

Flexible working hours were necessary to meet the economic, social, and family demands and changing social and economic environments that workers in the 21st Century face, the Council of Trade Unions told a select committee today.

The CTU presented its submission on the Employment Relations (Flexible Working Hours) Amendment Bill, on behalf of more than 300,000 workers, to the transport and industrial relations select committee this morning. The bill would give employees with young or disabled children the right to request flexible hours including reduced or changed hours.

"Quality of working life and work-life balance issues are the number one concern for many workers," said Carol Beaumont, CTU Secretary. "Unions are advocating for the introduction of flexible working hours to help establish a culture that recognises workers' responsibilities outside of the workplace and to support quality of family life."

Flexible working hours will be of benefit to employees and employers alike, the CTU said. The bill would help employees manage the many competing demands they face and it would help employers with staff retention, motivation and productivity.

United Kingdom experience of flexible working hours legislation has been that employers implementing flexible working hours have reported higher motivated and more productive staff, greater staff retention, and improved morale.

Ms Beaumont called on employers to pick up the challenge around this set of issues, and to look at the benefits that flexible working hours legislation would bring to workers and employers alike.


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