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Rural workers need four weeks too

Rural workers need four weeks too

Federated Farmers' concerns about the Progressives' Four Weeks leave bill can be addressed by careful implementation and fair wages and conditions says Matt Robson MP today.

"The stresses of modern living have increased since three weeks annual leave came in 30 years ago. Workers wages and conditions need to keep pace with these changes, as they have done all over Europe and the Western World where 4 weeks and more is the norm.

"More and more families, including rural workers' families, are finding that both parents need to work. This is particularly true of those living on low incomes who need to be encouraged to stay in the labour force rather than go on welfare because it is too tough financially and organizationally to both work and bring up kids. Four weeks helps these families get a bit more time together.

"Progressives acknowledge that companies may need time to adopt any changes that flow from the Holidays legislation. I will be taking note of any constructive proposals from small businesses in particular, on how to manage the implementation of four weeks leave. France, for example, brought in the shorter working week progressively, starting with larger organizations.

"Federated Farmers need to remember that the increased cost is on average 0.8 per cent which may well be balanced by benefits such as healthier workers taking less sick leave, reduced stress levels and stronger families. I note that most rural workers are women who have to take a lead role in child care and will benefit from the extra week.

"I remain confident that Progressives' four weeks leave proposal will be brought in during this term of Parliament and that most parties in Parliament will support it," said Matt Robson.

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