© NUJ poster
24 February 2014
The union encourages local branches and chapels to organise campaign activity to promote a healthy work/life balance.
Workers in the UK work the longest hours in Europe, take the shortest lunch breaks and have the fewest public holidays.
Childcare is expensive and difficult to find, care for older people is of inconsistent quality and it can be difficult to get support for family-related leave.
Work/life balance can be linked to wellbeing at work campaigns. Unless members can resolve the conflicts between the demands of work, family, home and leisure, they will be more prone to illness, less able to devote time to acquiring new skills and unable to perform to their full potential.
Union representatives can help members plan ahead and assist them in requesting changes or different work patterns.
The TUC has a guide to work/life balance and the NUJ supports a series of events and initiatives to raise awareness and promote work/life balance campaigns.
As the working families.org.uk website says:
"A mid-week breather can help energise us for the rest of the week and does wonders for our work-life balance. We all need a bit of down time to spend doing the things we love: the simple pleasures of a family meal round the table, catching up with friends we don’t see often enough, putting our feet up with a favourite DVD or getting involved in local community life. But too often we let our working hours stretch longer and longer, eating into that precious time. Go Home on Time Day is a chance to break that habit!"
Work your proper hours day
Work your proper hours day will mark its 10th year in early 2014. It is a light-hearted TUC campaign that celebrates the unsung – and unrewarded – hours that staff put in to help their employers and boost the UK economy.
There is a 2014 update of information and publicity materials available on the TUC website.
Go home on time day
Go home on time day in 2013 was Wednesday, 25 September.
The day is promoted by the working families campaign (working families.org.uk).
Read the comment piece about go home on time day by Georgina Morris, joint MoC Yorkshire Weekly Newspaper Group chapel.
If you are planning events for the day, make sure you add them to the NUJ events diary.
- NUJ poster for go home on time day
- NUJ Scotland poster for go home on time day
- key facts about work and family life in the UK in 2013 (PDF)
- working smarter tips for go home on time day 2013
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
"The NUJ is supporting go home on time day – the day we remember we should have a work/life balance. We should have time to be with our loved ones, to have time to read a book or go out with our friends as well as doing a day's or night's work. We work under the pressure of a 24-hour news cycle and to tight deadlines. With the many cuts in our industry, we are often doing more than one person's job and taking on more and more tasks. On Wednesday, 25 September, we will be encouraging our members and their colleagues to put on their coats when their shift is over and go home."
Work life balance information
Requesting flexible work - a briefing from the NUJ (members only).
Anyone can request flexible working but some employees have a statutory right to request part-time or flexible hours and an employer has a duty to consider the request seriously. An employer must have a good business reason for refusing. You have the right to ask – but not the right – to have flexible working.