Flexible Working Hours

Coalition For Quality Flexible Work

Media release

22 November 2007

Flexible Work Law A Win Win For Everyone

“The passage of the Flexible Working Arrangements bill last night was great for women and a win win for both employers and employees,” said Federation of Business and Professional Women spokesperson Angela McLeod today.

BPW is one of the 50 professional, legal, union and community organisations that are part of the Coalition for Quality Flexible Work, which has campaigned for this legislation for the past 12 months.
Angela McLeod said employers had everything to gain and nothing to fear from the legislation because productivity gains would far exceed any compliance costs.

Coalition member Cee Payne-Harker, who is the Organising Services Manager of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, said the legislation was a much needed employment right, setting up a legal framework for any employee with caring responsibilities to negotiate flexibility in working hours and other working arrangements.

Cee Payne-Harker said access to more flexibility was desperately needed to address nursing shortages and safe staffing issues in our hospitals.
“Many of our members have extensive family commitments that make rigid rosters difficult, deterring them from re-entering the nursing profession once they have children,” she said.  Cee Payne-Harker said the legislation was not just needed for nurses.

“New Zealand has serious labour shortages and employers must find innovative ways to address recruitment and retention issues. Implementing flexible working arrangements is one way to do that,” she said.  “We know many workers feel too intimidated to request flexible working arrangements. This legislation provides a process for them to do so, and puts of requirement on employers to genuinely consider their request,” she said.

Angela McLeod said suggestions that the introduction of this law will lead to conflict were wrong.  “The vast majority of workers requesting flexible working arrangements in the UK, under similar legislation, have had their request granted with no problems at all,” she said.  “We would expect a similar situation here. Employers must see this as a win/win. Flexible employers will attract staff, retain their staff, and as morale goes up, productivity goes up.”

For more information contact:
Angela McLeod 027 497 2762 or Cee Payne-Harker 027 229 5500.

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