Wednesday, April 17, 2024

PSA praises Ngā Taonga as agency archives 40-hour week

The Public Service Association (PSA) has congratulated staff and management of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision after New Zealand’s audiovisual archive became the first public sector agency to adopt a flexible and shorter working week with no cut to pay.

“This is great news for our members and for Ngā Taonga and recognises the big changes in how we all want to work these days,” said PSA National Secretary, Kerry Davies.

“Good on all at Ngā Taonga for doing the mahi on this and taking the lead in the public sector and moving with the times. Up until now the private sector has been taking the lead on this.

“It’s really pleasing that this approach was very much driven by staff and management ensuring the model adopted has excellent buy-in across the agency.”

From February, Ngā Taonga will introduce a flexible working week of 32.5 hours with no reduction in pay together with more flexible hours and greater options for working from home. Staff have three working pattern options to choose from to suit their individual needs, which include a five-day work week with reduced hours, a four-day week with Friday off, and a nine-day fortnight with alternate Fridays off.

Since June last year, Ngā Taonga has been trialling new ways of working, following an employee-centred design process.

“We are really pleased that the public sector is at last embracing what is now becoming more common in the private sector,” said Ms Davies.

“There is plenty of evidence that employers who adopt a more flexible approach to work, including shorter hours with no reduction in pay and three-day weekends achieve better outcomes. That includes improved health and well being for workers along with greater productivity. It’s a win-win.

“We all learned during the COVID-19 lockdowns that we can work effectively from home, so the time is now right for this approach and the PSA hopes it becomes more widespread in the public sector.

“As work becomes more intense and as many choose to retire much later, we need to focus on workplace practices that allow employees to achieve a good work-life balance.

“It’s also important that employers recognise the various needs of all their employees who have different cultural, community and whānau commitments.

“Workplaces that embrace flexible practices will over time do better at attracting and retaining people and in a tight labour market, that is more important now than ever,” she said.

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