Headlines: January 26th, 2000

A new committee has been set up to offer the Government advice on how tocreate a better work-home balance for employees.Margaret Hodge, Minister for Employment and Equal Opportunities, has also announced that the Institute for Economic Research has been commissioned to carry out research on flexible working practices.

This will be used to influence other employers and monitor the impact of the Government’s campaign for work-home balance, which will be launched shortly.

The Government argues that there is a business case for introducing policies which help people to balance work and home life. Employers save on recruitment costs by retaining skilled staff. There is a drop in sick leave and absenteeism and employees are more loyal, and better motivated.

The members of the advisory committee include representatives from the Federation of Small Businesses, TUC and the Engineering Employers’ Federation.

Other business interests are represented by senior employees from Littlewoods and Lloyds TSB Group,

Also on board are Shirley Conran, author and Chair of Mothers in Management, Will Hutton, recent Editor-In-Chief of the Observer Newspaper and Richard Mills, Chief Executive of Surrey County Council.