A report by the Institute of Directors (IoD) that rubbishes work-life
balance has been slammed by UK industry leaders and diversity experts.
The issue hit the headlines again last week when health minister Alan
Milburn resigned from his post to spend more time with his family.
The IoD’s controversial paper, Work-Life Balance Revisited, claims that
people who advocate work-life balance make distorted claims about the workplace
that amount to little more than "urban myths".
Its author, Ruth Lea, claims that work-life balance protagonists "run
an anti-business agenda that seems hell-bent on demonising the workplace",
and that these policies make running a business even harder.
Kate Headley, who heads up the Cheshire-based Dextra Diversity Network,
which includes top companies such as Ford, KPMG, Royal Bank of Scotland and
Land Rover, labelled Lea’s comments as "almost prehistoric".
"I’m dismayed that such an influential institute is trying to drag UK
businesses back into the dark ages. I’m sure many top UK companies are
literally cringing at its outdated attitude to business," Headley said.
Will Hutton, chief executive of The Work Foundation, compared Lea to Eddy
the Eagle and Screaming Lord Sutch as a figure of derision.
Annette Andrews, manager of work-life balance at Ford, also criticised the
"Work-life balance is an integral part of our diversity strategy. We
have found that it adds value to our business and to our staff, she said."