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Working week set for major changes: Greens

29 June 2008

Working week set for major changes: Greens

Green MP Sue Kedgley hopes flexible working patterns will become the norm and the rigid nine to five working week will gradually become a thing of the past, once the new flexible working right comes into force on Tuesday 1 July.

The new right, which will allow employees with dependents to request to work flexibly, is a result of Ms Kedgley's Flexible Working Arrangements bill which was passed in Parliament last year.

"At present flexible working arrangements are looked upon as a favour, rather than as a legitimate working arrangement. I hope the new employment right will change that, and employers will view flexible working arrangements as legitimate and productive working arrangements," Ms Kedgley says.

A similar right in the United Kingdom has resulted in a more flexible working hours culture there, and Ms Kedgley hopes it will have the same effect here.

Many parents are under huge stress, trying to juggle paid work and family responsibilities, and she hopes the new legislation will enable them to better balance family and paid work.

Ms Kedgley also hopes employers will realise the significant advantages of allowing more flexible working arrangements. Research shows that staff who work flexibly and have more say over the work are more productive and motivated, and there is less absenteeism, stress leave and staff turnover as a result.


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