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Modern Workplaces Create Obstacles For Families

26 June 2002

A Commission of Inquiry into the balance between work and family will be a top priority for Jim Anderton’s Progressive Coalition after the election.

Jim Anderton says the biggest challenge facing working families is the competing demands of work and family, yet the issue is largely overlooked in political debate, and it is an economic development issue.

‘Every women’s magazine editor knows that this issue is crucial to families. But it is not just an issue for parents alone, or an issue for governments in isolation. It is also about how much we value families as a society, and how much importance we are placing on family issues. A Commission of Inquiry will ensure the whole community starts discussing the issues and talking about solutions.’

The Commission of Inquiry is the second ‘cornerstone commitment’ announced by the Progressive Coalition of eight to be released before the election. The first, released last Sunday, committed to an anti-drug strategy.

Cornerstone Commitments appear on The Progressive Coalition’s commitment pledge, which will be delivered to most New Zealand homes and they will be our top priority in a coalition with Labour. Jim Anderton expects to be able to achieve one or two cornerstone commitments for every Progressive MP elected.

Issues identified for the ‘Work and Family’ Inquiry include choices for sole parents, overwork and unemployment, family taxation, childcare, paid time off work and pay equity.

We will keep making progress in government on important issues affecting the balance between work and family. We’re committed to improving the new paid parental leave scheme, modernising the Holidays Act and better resourcing for childcare. But while we are pushing for progress on social policy, it’s also important for the community to be involved in the debate,” Jim Anderton said.


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