Apart from the apparent uniting of SF and the DUP to oppose the introduction of flexible working hours for staff at Magherafelt District Council, against the wishes of half the workforce of 42, the other point of interest is the argument against flexi-time by Sinn Féin councillor Oliver Hughes. According to the Press Association report, he argued “If we were to apply it successfully we would have to employ probably six to eight extra staff to accommodate it. I don`t think the council could sustain the cost of that. Then the problem would arise that whenever all these staff members were present there would be nothing for them all to do.” Unfortunately, the Sinn Féin Spokesman on Workers’ Rights, Arthur Morgan, TD, set out a different party policy on the 18th August..From the statement by SF TD Arthur Morgan, on 18th August
“Sinn Fein strongly supports the introduction of statutory rights to flexible working arrangements which can play a key role in enabling workers to balance work with family and other responsibilities and thereby significantly enhance workers’ quality of life. There is growing evidence to show that workers who are able to balance work and family life are less stressed and more productive. Arrangements such as flexi–time, time accounts, compressed working weeks, annualised hours, and working from home can bring huge benefits for workers and employers alike.
“This survey shows that employers must, as a matter of urgency, make changes and adapt working environments to suit the changing needs of the workforce across the state. It will be them who see the benefits of a happier and more productive workforce.
“Sinn Fein believes that improved work/life balance should be a major social objective, with the potential to not only improve the quality of life for individual workers and families, but also strengthen the Irish social fabric for the benefit of all.”