Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Improved work/life balance should be major objective for employers

18 August, 2006


Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Workers' Rights Arthur Morgan TD today acknowledged the results of a new survey conducted by o2 Ireland that claimed that a good "work/life balance" is what most employees would appreciate in the Irish workforce.

Deputy Morgan said, "The results of this survey show that 42% of workers felt that changes to traditional working hours would vastly improve their work/life balance. The inability of workers to achieve a work/life balance is a growing cause of workplace stress. This is ultimately bad for employers as well as workers as it can lead to major increases in absenteeism, non-retention of knowledgeable staff members and higher costs in relation to employing temporary staff to cover work related sick leave. The benefits that are available to employers if they improve their employees' work/life balance are so glaringly obvious, it is a wonder companies are not falling over themselves to do so.

"Sinn Fein strongly supports the introduction of statutory rights to flexible working arrangements which can play a key role in enabling workers to balance work with family and other responsibilities and thereby significantly enhance workers' quality of life. There is growing evidence to show that workers who are able to balance work and family life are less stressed and more productive. Arrangements such as flexi--time, time accounts, compressed working weeks, annualised hours, and working from home can bring huge benefits for workers and employers alike.

"This survey shows that employers must, as a matter of urgency, make changes and adapt working environments to suit the changing needs of the workforce across the state. It will be them who see the benefits of a happier and more productive workforce.

"Sinn Fein believes that improved work/life balance should be a major social objective, with the potential to not only improve the quality of life for individual workers and families, but also strengthen the Irish social fabric for the benefit of all." ENDS

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