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More funding for work-life balance

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Employment Relations Minister, Alan Johnson, today announced almost 5m for 233 companies employing more than 830,000 people throughout the country, to improve work-life balance.

In this round from the Work-Life balance Challenge Fund, 91 private, 109 public and 33 voluntary organisations will each receive a share of the £4.8 million funding which provides free work-life balance consultancy support to help flexible working become a reality. Also, following Secretary of State Patricia Hewitt’s pledge to increase the number of women workers in the IT sector in January, twenty-one of the 233 winners represent ITEC companies. Overall £11.3 million has been paid out under the Challenge Fund over three years.

Announcing the winners at the Challenge Fund Fair in London today, Employment Relations Minister Alan 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. 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.”

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. The Challenge Fund provides assistance to all businesses – small, medium and large employers. The winners represent a broad range of
groups across the private, public and voluntary sectors, including banking, accountancy, construction, retail, local authorities, NHS Trusts, fire brigades, prison services and charities

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