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Work-life balance 'long overdue'

19 August, 2003

Work-life balance 'long overdue'

Green MP Mike Ward has welcomed the establishment of a Government steering group to promote a work-life balance, announced today by Labour Minister Margaret Wilson.

Mr Ward said he was pleased the group shares the concerns and intentions of Green MP Sue Kedgley's private member's bill, the Industrial Relations (Flexible Working Hours) Amendment Bill.

"This is a move that is long overdue," said Mr Ward, the Green spokesperson for Leisure.

"While I am not wishing to prejudge the outcomes of the steering group, it needs to realize that lack of time is the greatest impediment to balance and any moves towards saner lifestyles.

"We desperately need to work fewer hours and more regular hours but all the signals suggest that the opposite is happening.

"Mum, Dad and the kids are all hard at it. 24x7 is the name of the game these days.

"When and how are families and friends meant to interact when they are expected to fit leisure, education and family around increasingly bizarre work patterns?" asked Mr Ward.

"We hope the Government would support Sue Kedgley's Flexible Working Hours Bill to enable parents of children under six years-old to work flexible hours if they wish to better suit their needs as parents.

"In my personal view, I'd hope they would tack Monday onto the weekend."


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