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Families come first for work-life balance

Families come first for work-life balance

Green MP Sue Bradford has renewed calls for the Government to introduce four weeks annual leave for all workers as part of its work-life balance consultations.

Ms Bradford, the Green spokesperson for Labour, said four weeks annual leave would only begin to redress the imbalance of 15 years of workplace encroachment on the lives of workers and their families.

"The Greens support the Government's intentions to redress the work-life imbalance but it is crucial that the 'engagement process' actually engages action, not just talk," said Ms Bradford.

"It's no good talking pretty words about the work-life imbalance, the Government needs to put its money where its mouth is.

"The Government must support Matt Robson's bill as soon as it can, and it would do well to forget about this clumsy incremental approach being proposed.

"Splitting an extra week over three years would only slow down the reasonable progress New Zealand has made towards four weeks annual leave and would also impose unnecessary compliance costs onto employers.

"Work-life discussions should also consider raising the minimum wage so that the many parents who are currently forced into two or more jobs just to make ends meet can spend time with their families instead of passing like ships in the night," said Ms Bradford.

Green support is essential for the Government to pass measures to redress the work-life imbalance.

"As far as we know, despite calling themselves family-friendly, United Future do not support an extra week's annual leave for workers," said Ms Bradford.

"Families have suffered because people's time has been encroached on by workforce casualisation, longer work hours and working more than one job just to make ends meet.

"It's important we protect the needs of workers to have time out for themselves and to spend with their families. This includes flexible working hours to make it easier for workers to respond to family needs, rather than families having to respond to employers' wants," said Ms Bradford.

Green MP Sue Kedgley has drawn up a private member's bill, the Employment Relations (Flexible Working Hours) Bill, which would allow employees with young and dependant children the right to request reduced, part-time or flexible working hours.

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