Flexible working should be a right, say MPs

Flexible working is increasingly popular and many look for it as an option when considering a job role
Flexible working is increasingly popular and many look for it as an option when considering a job role

Job adverts should state that a position is flexible unless there is a strong business reason to do otherwise, a committee of MPs has concluded in a report on the gender pay gap.

The right to request flexible working is currently only available to employees after they have been on the job for 26 weeks. But MPs have heard that some women are forced to take lower paid jobs because they are often the only roles available that offer a regard of flexibility.

Skills minister Nick Boles told the committee that “If you have half a brain cell as an employer, you realise that by offering flexibility you can often get better applicants. It does not need me to regulate it.”

In opposition to this the report on the gender pay gap states: “The benefits of flexibility are fully accepted by Government, yet policies encouraging employers to create more opportunities for flexible working are not forthcoming.

“By refusing to act, the Government is complicit in a system that is undermining productivity and perpetuating the gender pay gap.”

The committee also believes that the EU Equality and Human Rights Commission should recommend that employers are more flexible.

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