A new Bill has been introduced in Parliament to make it easier for applicants to get flexible new jobs.
A Conservative MP introduced a Flexible Working Bill at the House of Commons yesterday which aims to force employers to offer applicants flexible working unless there was a good business reason not to.
Helen Whately said the traditional working week did not reflect accurately how people want to work these days and said the bill would help to address the gender pay gap and improve staff retention.
The Bill is supported by campaign groups including Pregnant Then Screwed, the Fatherhood Institute and the Young Women’s Trust.
Whateley said the Government would offer employers examples of best practice in flexible working.
Campaigners say the Bill will mean employers have to think more about how they advertise jobs and about job design and that the onus will be put on employers to say why a job can’t be done flexibly rather than on the employee to bring up flexible working at interview.
Many of the most progressive employers already state on their job adverts that their jobs can be done flexibly and some, such as Lloyds Banking Group, have an agile hiring programme under which HR managers challenge managers if job descriptions do not include flexibility.
Currently, employees can only request flexible working after being in a job for six months and there are eight broad reasons which employers can use to turn down a request.