SMARTER WORKING CAMPAIGN GETS TUC SUPPORT
WORK Wise UK now has the backing of the TUC for its 3-year
initiative to encourage the widespread adoption of smarter working
practices, such as flexible working, mobile working, remote working
and working from home. The TUC is supporting the campaign as
it recognises the potential to change for the better the way we work
in this country.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:- ''In an economy
that is close to full employment, in many sectors workers are
shifting their focus to quality of life issues. In practice this
means gaining more flexibility over working time, eliminating
excessive working hours and cutting down on commuting time.''
The TUC sees a huge scope for many workers to have more choice over
their hours and working patterns through smarter working practices.
Working smarter will increase efficiency and enable work to be
completed more quickly, lessening the need for long hours.
Brendan Barber continued:- “More than 10 million people
regularly work overtime, although only half of them are rewarded
with extra pay or time off in lieu.”
Apart from increased productivity, other benefits of smarter working
include reduced transport congestion and pollution, improved health,
assisting disadvantaged groups, and the harmonisation of work and
“Travel is an important element,” said Brendan Barber.
“The working week figures do not take into account travel
time, which in some areas of the country is very significant.
Simply reducing that element, or enabling the staggering of the rush
hour, will have a fundamental impact on people’s lives both in terms
of time and stress.”
Work Wise UK will start with Work Wise Week, Wednesday 3 May to
Tuesday 9 May, intentionally not the traditional working week. It
will begin with a major summit at the QEII Conference Centre in
London where 400 influential delegates from government, unions and
business will debate how to deliver a smarter working Britain.
Phil Flaxton, chief executive of the IT Forum Foundation, a
not-for-profit organisation which is behind the campaign, said:-
“Having the support of the TUC is a significant step for Work
Wise UK. It will be heavily involved in the development of the
programme, and in the implementation over the three years of the
Further information about Work Wise UK can be found on the website (www.workwiseuk.org).
Our Sundays campaign
RETAIL union Usdaw is launching a national Save Our Sundays
campaign to stop large stores opening for longer than 6 hours on a
Sunday at its annual conference in Blackpool. The conference
kicks off at the Winter Gardens on Sunday April 30 until Wednesday
May 3 and more than 800 delegates will be making clear their total
opposition to any further relaxation of Sunday trading hours which
they say will have a devastating impact on their family life.
"Our annual conference usually produces some robust debates
but with 95% of our members opposed to any changes in Sunday
shopping hours because they want to spend quality time with the
families then there should be some fireworks. We're particularly pleased
Trade Minister Gerry Sutcliffe has agreed to join us in Blackpool on
Sunday afternoon and he has promised to listen closely to the
delegates to find out exactly why there is such widespread
opposition from shopworkers to longer shopping hours on a Sunday.
We're launching the national Save Our Sundays campaign in Blackpool
because we want to reach as many of Britain's shoppers as we can
after discovering in an independent survey that 64% of them don't
want longer hours. So shoppers don't want longer hours, the major
retailers are divided on the issue and shopworkers want to spend
some quality time with their families on a Sunday so we'll be making
sure that MPs get that message loud and clear." says Usdaw
general secretary John Hannett.
support longer shopping hours on Sunday
69% OF people in the North England have no objections to the
deregulation of Sunday shopping hours, and even those who would not
take advantage of longer shopping hours appreciate that it would
make life easier for many people.
That's the message from
a national survey which reinforces the theory that life would be so
much easier if only the shops were open longer on a Sunday.
Choice is the key to consumers who are increasingly demanding the
flexibility to shop when they like rather than being dictated to by
out-of-date opening hours.
The Populus survey
reveals that 78% of the population has no objections to changes in
the law which would allow shops to open for longer on a Sunday.
Commissioned by Deregulate, which is looking for the government to
grant longer opening hours on a Sunday, the survey shows that 53% of
those questioned said that their life would be made easier if larger
shops were able to open earlier on a Sunday morning or stay open
later in the day on Sunday.
The Trafford Centre's,
Director of Operations, Gordon McKinnon, is in full support of the
deregulation of Sunday Trading hours:- "In the 11 years since
the introduction of the Sunday Trading Act, Sunday has become the
second busiest day of the week, in fact, hour for hour it is by far
the busiest. Every Sunday morning there are thousands of
people here at The Trafford Centre waiting for the shops to open,
and every Sunday evening we are asking thousands to leave because
the shops have to close."
Furthermore, 65% of 18-24 years old believe that longer shopping
hours would give them more flexibility to plan their time and get
the things done in life that they want to. The survey results
come at a time when the DTI is carrying out its own analysis to
assess whether current restrictions on larger stores are still
relevant. In its own comprehensive report to the DTI
Deregulate, offers recommendations on the simplification of Sunday
trading hours stipulating that regulation is unnecessary.
Commenting on the
research, David Ramsden, chairman of Deregulate, who was the
Executive Vice Chairman of the Shopping Hours Reform Council whose
proposals became the 1994 Sunday Trading Act, said:- "There is
clearly demand for longer opening hours and by removing regulation
stores can make their own decisions and react to consumer demand.
Simply this poll shows that over two thirds of the population does
not oppose the relaxation of the current restrictions''
In its submission to the
DTI, Deregulate states that lifting restrictions on Sunday shopping
will lead to the creation of thousands of jobs, give consumers more
choice, support urban regeneration, boost the economy and abolish a
completely outdated law.
Chief executive of Women for Sunday Shopping, an organisation
representing working women for the deregulation of Sunday shopping
hours, Karen Parry, said:- 'This demonstrate that the majority
of people in the UK are in favour of flexible shopping times on
Sundays. As a Mother who runs her own business, it would be
extremely beneficial for me to be able to shop later on a Sunday. It
would mean that shopping would no longer interfere with our social
and extra curricular activities on Saturdays or in the week and I'd
be able to spend more time with my daughter. My life would be
so much easier with more hours to shop on a Sunday, as I'm sure it
would for any family with young children,'.
David states that current restrictions are no longer relevant:-
"Sunday trading law, which permits stores with more than 280
square metres of sales floor to open for more than six hours on a
Sunday, have not changed in more than a decade. Since then consumer
expectations have increased, society has become more multicultural
and more people are working outside the standard 9am-5pm weekday
hours. The whole concept of shopping has changed since the Act
was put in place. Shopping is now a family activity and any
extension to opening hours will be dictated by consumer demand."
In response to the DTI's consultation document, the report proposes
all shops in England and Wales can open without restriction on
Sundays as is already the case in Scotland.
"Retailers need to be free to serve their customers at times
the customers want to shop," David added.