HC Deb 19 May 2004 vol 421 cc987-8W
Mr. Denham

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what schemes and initiatives her Department is undertaking in each constituency in Hampshire to promote a better work-life balance. [171644]

Mr. Sutcliffe

[holding answer 17 May 2004]: The national Work-life Balance (WLB) campaign was launched by the Prime Minister in 2000. Using case studies, a body of research evidence, and a dedicated website the campaign seeks to demonstrate to employers and employees the case for adopting flexible working practices, and highlight the business benefits that can accrue to companies who have considered, and then implemented, alternative ways of working. The campaign has historically provided practical help in implementing Work-life Balance initiatives through the DTI Challenge Fund.

At present only one Challenge fund project, from the fifth and final round, is operating in Hampshire. New DTI arrangements to support best practice in business, and other employer organisations, are now in place. These arrangements will be the means by which work-life balance, and the DTI financial support to promote the take-up and growth of flexible working opportunities, will be delivered.

Financial assistance to implement best practice in work-life balance and flexible working (and a range of other best practice areas) will be accessible via Business Link offices. Advisers in these offices, in Hampshire and the rest of the country, will provide local points of access for this support. Further details on these arrangements are available on the DTI website at www.dti.gov.uk.

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