Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Broad support for flexible working hours welcomed

6 November 2006

Broad support for flexible working hours welcomed

The launch of a broad-based coalition of more than 20 organisations campaigning for more flexible working hours is being welcomed by Green MP Sue Kedgley, whose private member's bill on the issue is currently before Parliament.

"It is great to see this level of support. The broad nature of this coalition indicates that quality flexible work is an idea whose time has come," Ms Kedgley says.

Ms Kedgley's Flexible Working Hours Bill is before the Transport and Industrial Relations committee and is due to have its third reading in Parliament in April 2007. Ms Kedgley is seeking to extend the provisions of the bill to apply to all employees.

"The rigid 40 hour week has become something of straitjacket in New Zealand, clogging our cities with congestion as we all race to get to work at the same time. It also causes unnecessary stress and inconvenience to families where parents are in the paid workforce, and prevents many older New Zealanders from working, as well as parents with young children and employees looking after elderly dependents.

"More flexibility in hours of work will bring numerous societal benefits. Not only will it make it easier for people to combine paid work and family responsibilities, it will also benefit employers. Research shows that flexible employment practices increase morale and productivity and reduce absenteeism, stress-related illness and staff turnover. Flexible working practices will also encourage creative, collaborative, results-driven workplaces, where employees feel trusted and respected rather than watched over and micro-managed.

"Greater flexibility in working hours also has the benefit of easing congestion on roads and public transport as fewer people will be rushing to get to work at the same time. It would benefit taxpayers as it would reduce the demand for spending billions on further major roading projects," Ms Kedgley says.

Ms Kedgley's bill provides employees with a statutory right to request flexible working arrangements, and creates a statutory duty for employers to consider such requests seriously. It is based on UK legislation, which has been extremely successful in helping change the working culture. Flexible working could mean staggered start and finish times, a compressed working week, part-time employment or extended holiday time in return for reduced wages.

"The Green Party recognises that not all workplaces can introduce flexible arrangements, and the bill gives employers grounds for turning down an employee request. However, in the UK, 90 percent of employee requests have been successfully negotiated," Ms Kedgley says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news