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Removing barriers to paid work essential

PSA Press Release
1 February 2005

Removing barriers to paid work essential to get more women in to paid work

New initiatives to assist greater numbers of women to enter the paid workforce are being welcomed by the Public Service Association (PSA).

In her Opening Statement to Parliament the Prime Minister outlined new support to increase the number of women in the paid workforce, along with other policies to help people to buy their first homes and save for their retirement.

PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff said work needs to be made a more practical option for parents.

“It’s hard for families to juggle the demands of work and parenting responsibilities. We know more women want to join the paid workforce and that the labour force participation rate of New Zealand women is low compared to other nations.

“It’s good to see the government is working on the cost and availability of childcare because without this commitment many families will not be able to afford to have both parents at work.

“Increased labour market participation is good for both men and women. It is a driver of economic growth and workers will expect to see a growth dividend reflected in their pay packets.

“The PSA will be advancing work-life balance measures during collective bargaining and we welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to help parents balance their work and parenting responsibilities. New Zealand workers already spend more time at work than those from most other nations and a desire for improved work-life balance features regularly in employee surveys.”

Commenting on other plans outlined in the Prime Minister’s statement to encourage a stronger savings culture, Richard Wagstaff said the experience of the State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme shows New Zealanders want to plan for their future.

“The government has shown a lead on superannuation which other employers should follow. Public servants have embraced their new superannuation scheme, with nearly half those eligible signing up in the first year. We are looking forward to a firm commitment from the government to extend the scheme to workers in the health sector and other public agencies which it does not currently cover,” Richard Wagstaff said.

[ends]

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