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Labour Day good time to reflect on working hours

Media Statement
19 October 2007

Labour Day good time to reflect on working hours

Labour MP Darien Fenton is asking New Zealanders to take a minute on the coming Labour Day holiday to think about whether it is time for better working time regulation.

“As New Zealanders enjoy the Labour Day weekend, we need to take a moment to pause and reflect on the expectations of today’s Labour market. Long hours, shift and weekend work, unpaid overtime and in many cases, insecure hours have become entrenched in New Zealand working conditions and that’s not good enough” says Ms Fenton.

“Legislative moves towards the right to ask for flexible working hours are a real step forward in tackling the problems this is causing New Zealand families. But the current long hours culture in New Zealand may well remain a feature of our Labour Market unless we also tackle the issue of our lack of working time regulation,” she says.

New Zealand has no working time limits. There are no minimum or maximum hours of work. There are no legislative provisions for overtime and weekend work and there is no legislation for breaks.

“With Labour Day coming up this weekend and the celebration of Samuel Parnell’s effort to win an eight hour day, it is timely to reflect on these issues” says Ms Fenton.


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