Tulip Siddiq, a Labour MP, has read a Flexible Working Bill in the House of Commons which would allow all staff to be entitled to flexible working from day one in a job.

The Shadow Minister for Education, Tulip Siddiq, introduced her ten minute Flexible Working Bill in Parliament yesterday.

Receiving cross-party support, the proposals would see staff receiving the right to flexible working from day one on the job, except in exceptional circumstances.

In addition, employers would be expected to offer flexible working arrangements in employment contracts and advertise the available types of such flexibility in vacancies.

Ms. Siddiq cited statistics which showed that, since 2020, less than a fifth (17 per cent) of UK job vacancies offered flexible working.

The MP further explained the various benefits that passing this Bill could have on the wider economy and for marginalised groups including people with disabilities, BME workers and people on a low income.

In particular, the Labour MP noted that a lack of flexible working had a severe impact on working women.

McKinsey research, quoted in the speech, found that if women were fully utilised in the UK economy, there could be £150 billion added to the economy by 2030.

Speaking to The Evening Standard, Ms. Siddiq stated:

Overall, the impact of flexible working is most on women and that’s something we can’t deny.

In this country, the childcare responsibilities…do largely fall on women and the statistics show that if women can flexibly work and go back to their jobs, they’re more likely to not quit their jobs after they’ve had a child and to go back to their careers.

The statistics show that men can flexibly work as well, women are twice as likely to excel in the career that they’re pursuing, if they have their husbands helping them with childcare responsibility and looking after children.

A Bill which promotes flexible working for all, from day one in a job, has also been championed by the CIPD.

It explained that the benefits could include savings on office space, a better match between business resources and demand and improved employee satisfaction and wellbeing.

It further added that this could reduce absence rates and allow employees to manage disability and long-term health conditions, as well as supporting their mental health and stress.

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, stated:

We need a new understanding about what flexible working is and we need employers to embrace flexible working arrangements beyond home working, to give opportunity and choice to all. Employees may not always be able to change where they work, but they should have more choice and a say in when and how they work.

Flexible working will empower people to have greater control and flexibility in their working life. This is good for inclusion and opening up opportunities to people who have other constraints in being able to work standard hour weeks or in getting to a place of work. It is also good for people’s wellbeing and productivity.