CTU MEDIA RELEASE
24 July 2006
NZ's Long Hours Culture Confirmed in Work Life Balance Report, says CTU
The Council of Trade Unions says that new work life balance research released today confirms what we already know - that New Zealand has a 'long hours' culture.
'Work life balance in New Zealand' was released by the government at a joint summit with the CTU, Business New Zealand and the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust.
"The research confirms that we have a long hours culture where workers are doing extra unpaid hours to get their jobs done, and that shift work and rotating hours are having a negative impact on workers," CTU Secretary Carol Beaumont said.
"Workers want the ability to access flexible working hours," said Carol Beaumont. "Work life balance is not an optional extra - it is fundamental for modern economy."
"Today's summit is showing the need for a collective response to work life balance, from unions, business and government, to ensure that solutions such as flexible working hours are available on an equitable basis for workers across the board, not just for a privileged few."
"Flexible working hours is not just a women's issue. A flexible working hours culture and practice will enable men to have better quality working and home lives, reduced hours, and the ability to take more part in caring roles and in community life."
"Flexible working hours is also connected to other pressing labour force issues such as improving the conditions of employment for those caring for dependents, retaining older workers, enhancing skills development, increasing productivity and ensuring work is safe and healthy."
"One of the reasons for the summit is to discuss issues raised by the select committee considering the Flexible Working Hours Bill. The CTU supports legislation to ensure the right to request flexible hours, and see there are a range of other initiatives to create solutions to balance in peoples working lives."