For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 13 Oct 2013.
In a revelation that may startle listeners, a fashion industry employer group has declared that “weekends in the traditional sense do not exist any more.”
The Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia commented on a decision of the Fair Work Commission to grant an employer’s application to allow days-in-lieu for working public holidays, describing the decision as a “first step to changing the old world culture of sacrosanct weekends.”
Employer groups are pushing to fully deregulate retail trading hours, arguing it is what customers want, and therefore we should have a more flexible workplace.
But a healthy work-life balance delivers vital benefits to workers, families, employers and the whole community. Employers should take care not to impose responsibilities on employees which lead to a deterioration in work-life balance. Restrictions on retail trading hours, especially weekends, need to be retained in the interests of the whole community.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.