Can politicians have a life? Working time & family

Wednesday, 28 August 2002

Comments by South Australian Democrats leader Mike Elliot in State Parliament yesterday raise issues about the effects of long hours on all of us, including politicians, an academic researcher from the University of Adelaide said today.

Dr Barbara Pocock, an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Inquiry, said Mr Elliot was talking about effects that research confirmed are widespread.

"Long hours are bad for families, communities and workers," Dr Pocock said. "They make us less productive and they are personally very costly, as Mr Elliot's experience shows.

"It is time for a closer look at the international and national picture and more action to combat the effects which he has bravely spoken off publicly.

"The international evidence shows that Australia's hours of work amongst full-time employees are growing - contrary to the situation in many other industrialised countries. We are now second only to South Korea in terms of long hours amongst these countries. Is this a league table we really want to be on?"

(NOTE: Dr Barbara Pocock returns full-time to the University this week, after 14 months working as a Senior Advisor to Senator Natasha Stott Despoja on work, industrial relations, employment, work and family and women's issues).


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