A radical rethink of the "long-hours working culture" is needed to create family-friendly working practices, according to Equal Opportunities Commission chair Julie Mellor.
In one of her first public speeches since she she became chair, Mellor told the Employment Lawyers Association's annual conference in Leeds last week that the Government's Fairness at Work legislation alone would not stop the trend towards working longer hours.
She welcomed the new laws and said the EOC would play a key role in enforcing them.
The organisation is also considering developing new codes of practice covering family friendly policies.
"But hearts and minds also need to be won over in changing the work place culture amongst both employers and employees," she says.