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Campaign to promote better work-life balance


The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and Education and Employment Secretary of State, David Blunkett, today launched the Government’s campaign to promote a better work-life balance at a business breakfast at 10 Downing Street.

The campaign will encourage employers to introduce flexible working practices which enable their employees to achieve a better balance between work and the rest of their lives. Evidence shows that there is a bottom line business benefit in doing this. Everyone has a life and responsibilities outside work. They may have children or other caring responsibilities, or simply want time to pursue other interests.

The Prime Minister announced three major elements of the campaign:

* the setting up of Employers for Work-Life Balance, an independent alliance of 22 leading work-life balance employers committed to working in partnership with Government to promote good practice in the business community;

* a new £1.5 million Challenge Fund to help employers explore how work-life balance policies can help them deliver goods and services more efficiently and flexibly;

* the publication of "Changing Patterns in a Changing World", a DfEE discussion document. It includes a six-point checklist of the principles of work-life balance -agreed with the employer’s alliance - and how these can benefit businesses and individuals. "Changing Patterns in a Changing World" also includes best practice case studies and plans for further action.

Writing in the foreword to the Employers for Work-Life Balance publication "Getting the balance right - UK working life in 2000", the Prime Minister said: "We look forward to working with Employers for Work-Life Balance to promote approaches to work that result in more competitive and profitable businesses and a better quality of life for those who work in them. This is an exciting example of partnership between business and Government and a significant move by employers to harness the diversity of our workforce."

Our only comment on this to-be-commended campaign, is that surely it's somewhat contradictory to launch it at a 'business breakfast'. The extension to the working day, denies business people, including the Prime Minister, of the opportunity to enjoy breakfast and the school-run with their own families, which would do much to enhance a more realistic work/life balance of priorities.


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