Twice as many firms will benefit from work-life fund

The
Government has announced a cash boost to promote work-life balance.

Employment
relations minister, Alan Johnson, announced almost £5m in funding to promote
innovative working practices to help workers enjoy a better work-life balance
and improve business performance.

He
said the projects will help employees ‘juggle not struggle’ with their working
week.

The
Challenge Fund cash is available to 233 companies employing more than 830,000.
British Airways, Tesco, Age Concern and The Prince’s Trust are just some of the
organisations who will benefit.

In
this round 91 private, 109 public and 33 voluntary organisations will each
receive a share of the £4.8m funding which provides free work-life balance
consultancy support.

The
wining companies will use their share of the funding to implement work-life
balance practices such as job-shares, flexible working locations and hours.

Overall,
£11.3 million has been paid out under the Challenge Fund over three years. 

Johnson
said: "It is great to see so many companies recognising the benefits of
work-life balance and actively seeking help to get smart working practices in
place.

"This
year saw record entry levels for the Challenge Fund and this latest round of
funding has enabled us to double the number of companies who will benefit. The
fund is now helping companies of all sizes and sectors across the country
achieve the work-life balance goal.

"Work-life
balance is not just about working less, it’s also about how, when and where
people work. Flexibility in the workplace has already helped previous Challenge
Fund winners to gain improvements in recruitment and staff retention and reduce
their absenteeism levels. Whether you are a construction company, a fire
brigade unit, a large food retailer or a county cricket club – work-life
balance is a win-win situation for everyone."

By Quentin Reade

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