Employers urged to change working hours for Rugby World Cup

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A petition has been launched to establish a later start to New Zealand’s working day during the Rugby World Cup.

The ‘Push Back for Black’ petition has called upon employers around the country to alter their standard working hours by an hour, making them 10am-6pm to allow employees to watch matches that are aired early in the morning.

NZME reported that its radio stations, along with The New Zealand Herald, were supporting the petition.

The Herald’s managing editor Shayne Currie encouraged other employers to follow his lead.

“To allow New Zealanders the opportunity to stay up during the night to watch the All Blacks play – or enjoy a full game at home from 7am or 8am – seems the patriotic thing to do,” he said.

The campaign comes as Oxford University researchers claim that forcing staff to begin work prior to 10am causes illness, exhaustion and stress.

According to Dr Paul Kelley, work and school hours should be altered to suit humans’ natural body clocks.

“Staff are usually sleep deprived,” he said. “We've got a sleep-deprived society.”

“It is hugely damaging on the body's systems because you are affecting physical, emotional and performance systems in the body.

“Your liver and your heart have different patterns and you're asking them to shift two or three hours. This is an international issue. Everybody is suffering and they don't have to.”

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