Despite the best efforts of the union movement over many years, the working week can often seem more poorly defined than ever. Modern technology and the many means of communication we now have at our disposal has lessened our distance from friends and loved ones, but has also blurred the lines between our working and personal lives.

How often do we find ourselves seemingly ‘on-call’, checking emails from multiple devices at home or on the weekend? How often do we let our working lives bleed into time better spent with friends and whānau, reading a book, or just lying in the sun? How often do we feel pressured to always make ourselves ‘available’ even as we juggle our busy personal lives?

With the year coming to a close and the holiday season upon us, it’s time to relax and re-energise, and this means allowing ourselves dedicated time to step away from work and make ourselves ‘unavailable’ for work, and ‘available’ to ourselves and the people we care about.

We need to better contain our working lives: take a decent block of leave, spend time with friends and whānau. Pick up that book you’ve been too busy to read. Enjoy precious time with the kids without school or work to worry about. If you need a reminder, then head to our #WorkSleepPlay campaign.

The leave we take is not a favour granted to us by our employer! Working people have fought hard for the much needed time off we can all enjoy.

In our name - Te Hautū Kahurangi - Hau refers to wind, air, breath, and vitality. Hautū means to guide or lead. Tu means to stand, set in place, or establish. In this way, Hautū refers to the union, its members and staff, and how we stand strong, and unified to protect one another.

Ensure that you take time to revitalise so we can continue to stand strong together.

Enjoy the time you take off guilt-free. Our personal wellbeing and that of our whānau relies on our willingness to step back, unplug, and meaningfully engage with those around us outside of work.

Time away from work is a right we have fought for, and one we must cherish.

TEU offices closes Monday 23 December and reopen Monday 6 January, 2020.