Speech for Work-Life Balance Forum

Speech by Rev Rod Benson at a Sydney Alliance-organised event in Sydney, 13 November 2012

I stand here today on behalf of Baptists throughout NSW to assure politicians, business leaders, workers and families that Baptists oppose the further erosion of provisions for restricted trading days.

We expect our government to serve and protect the interests of its citizens, and promote the common good, with respect to employment conditions and entitlements.  We do not expect our government to serve and protect the special interests of big business at the expense of the people.

In the face of intense lobbying pressure and brazen grabs by large retail chains and their shareholders and investors for a bigger slice of the finite consumer dollar, we say enough is enough.

There is more to life than profit and self-centred greed.  Workers are created in the image of God, and should be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.  Working unsocial hours has a negative impact on family life.  Workers must not be considered merely instrumental in the production of goods and services.  Workers have a right to adequate rest from their paid employment.

A healthy work-life balance delivers vital benefits to workers, families, employers and the whole community.  And neither the government nor the business community should impose responsibilities on workers, or remove conditions and entitlements, which lead to a deterioration in their already fragile work-life balance.

Thank you.

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