Jeune Chambre de Commerce de Montréal

Jeune Chambre de Commerce de Montréal

February 02, 2005 23:59 ET

The JCCM restates its expectations and desire to see a policy with real impact on Work-Life balance

MONTREAL, Feb. 2 - The Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal
(JCCM) unveiled today a new position paper which proposes measures to create a
better work-life balance.

"The Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal believes it must contribute to
this debate, especially at a time when our government is making decisions that
could significantly affect our members," said Patrice Borreman, President of
The JCCM. "It is essential that they understand and react to the needs of the
next generation, and that all those who are involved take responsibility for
reaching this balance."

The main principles of the JCCM's brief are as follows: definition of the
responsibilities and roles to be played by all the main parties concerned,
whether government, corporate or individuals; enactment of regulations by the
government which advance concrete measures that take into account the various
realities faced by different kinds of companies (small and large) and
different kinds of workers (such as the self-employed); and, perception of
these measures as bringing added value to positively position Quebec's work
and business environment.

"The current challenge is to offer options that will benefit the
corporate sector and also meet the objective of creating work-life balance,
promoting personal quality of life, without sacrificing market competitiveness
for Quebec-based businesses," noted Patrice Borreman.

In the position paper submitted last week to the Minister of employment
and social services, Mr. Claude Béchard, the JCCM put forth a number of
suggestions to promote a better balance between career and family life. There
are four key points:

- Promote better time management: The traditional "9 to 5" routine now a
thing of the past, the JCCM states that workers require access to
reduced or flexible work hours. Besides favouring well-known concepts
such as telecommuting and banking one's hours, the JCCM also suggests
that the Quebec government allows parents of children aged 1 to 12 to
reduce, at their own cost, their work hours by up to 20%.

- Support families' day-to-day reality: Information regarding the
available options should be centralised in order to be easily
accessible and to promote existing incentives. Daycare services should
also be reconsidered in order to better respond to parents' needs, both
in quantity (since the demand currently exceeds the availability) and
quality (location, flexibility of schedules, on-site daycare, etc.).

- Encourage companies to participate: Recent studies prove that measures
to improve work-life balance have positive economic impacts on
business. The government should therefore play an active role in the
enactment and promotion of such measures and their positive impacts on
companies.

- Support non-conventional work styles, such as the self-employed: The
JCCM stresses that it is imperative to consider those who are employed
outside of the conventional system by creating, for example, family
savings plans, similar to retirement and pension plans, to ensure that
this type of worker has better long-term financial stability.

About the JCCM

The JCCM is an association of young executives, professionals,
entrepreneurs and self-employed business people under the age of 40. Founded
in 1931, it represents some 1,500 members, whose average age is 33, making it
the largest junior chamber of commerce in North America. The JCCM is a premier
meeting place for those who want to make a difference and take active part in
the discussions that shape the future of society.

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