Conservative leader David Cameron will today declare that work-life balance is more important than making money.
In a keynote speech at a conference organised by search engine giant Google, he will call for the old Protestant work ethic – for so long a central plank of Tory policy – to be replaced by a “modern vision of ethical work”.
“It’s time we admitted that there’s more to life than money, and it’s time we focused not just on GDP, but on GWB – general well-being,” Cameron will say.
“Well-being can’t be measured by money or traded in markets. It is about the beauty of our surroundings, the quality of our culture, and above all the strength of our relationships.”
The Labour government has been criticised by business groups for introducing too much “family-friendly” legislation, but Cameron will say that the role of government is to lead by example rather than imposing ever more regulation on employers.
He will promise that under a Conservative government the UK public sector will become “the world leader in progressive employment practice”.
In particular, he will say that the Tories need to show that they care about the quality of people’s working lives and that politics can make a positive difference.
“Our goal is clear: to move beyond a belief in the Protestant work ethic alone, to a modern vision of ethical work.”
The British Chambers of Commerce said Cameron should spend more time worrying about the burden on small businesses, and warned that it opposed extensions to parental rights.