Government funds work-life balance initiative

As many as 419 companies applied to gain access to the Challenge Fund, which provides free consultation for employers who want to improve their workers work-life balance.

The 233 eventual winners included companies like Tesco, British Airways and voluntary organisations like Age Concern and the Princes Trust.

These companies and organisations will now be able to implement work-life balance practices such as job-shares and flexi-time.

The funding winners were announced by employment relations minister Alan Johnson, who said: ‘It is great to see so many companies recognising the benefits of work-life balance and actively seeking to help get smart working practices in place.’

He said 2002 had seen record entry levels for the Challenge Fund.

The work-life balance lobby has been criticised by the Institute of Directors who claim it increased red tape by regulating working practices.

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