Employees being denied flexible working despite entry into law

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Despite a full year having elapsed since the Coalition Government gave employees the right to ask for flexible working hours, employees are still being denied the opportunity.

Figures from workingmums.co.uk make plain that over a fifth of working mothers have been forced to vacate their jobs because flexible working was not available when asked for.  38% of new mums currently on maternity leave said they would not return to their jobs if flexible working wasn’t granted.

The report comes just months after Timewise in a separate survey found that 14.1 million people, half the working population of the UK want more flexibility in their working hours. This is in response to the increasing demands of modern life, with childcare and looking after elderly and infirm parents and relatives, being just some of the reasons people are demanding more flexibility from their work. If it is not available, employees have shown that they are willing to elsewhere to find flexibility.

Timewise also found that of 3.5m job adverts thye searched through as part of their research project, just 6.2% mentioned the opportunity for working flexibility and at the same time offered a salary that would produce a good standard of living.

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  1. The headline for this article presents a slightly disingenuous view,suggesting that employers are breaking the law? Yes, employees have the right to ask (and a good thing, too), but employers have the right to make a (reasoned) refusal. How about more focus on getting a flexible working management culture in organisations, together with a culture that looks at long/excessive working hours – by any employees – as something negative rather than heroic?

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