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Co-ordinated approach to work-life policy

Co-ordinated approach to work-life policy

The government will establish an integrated work programme to develop family-friendly and other policies promoting work-life balance, Labour Minister Margaret Wilson said today.

“Currently a number of different government agencies are carrying out research and policy development in this area and there is a need to ensure their work is co-ordinated,“ she said.

An inter-agency steering group chaired by the Department of Labour will be set up to develop and co-ordinate the integrated work programme.

Margaret Wilson said work-life balance policies and practices could help individuals to improve well-being and more fully use their potential both in work and outside of work. Work-life balance practices could also help employers to increase retention, reduce absenteeism and improve productivity and profitability.

“The right balance between work and ‘life’ is different for each person. Obviously work-life issues for a sole-parent worker will be quite different than for say a worker nearing retirement. Similarly, work-life issues will be quite different for students, older people, people with significant caring responsibilities and those without such responsibilities.

“What is important is the extent to which people have real choices and control over their circumstances. What is also clear is that achieving work-life balance is complicated, and will therefore require different government, employer, individual and community responses,” Margaret Wilson said.

The Terms of Reference for the integrated work-life policy development programme are attached.

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