Call for more action on flexible working

A TUC poll shows that 70% of HR managers say have have or could implement significant flexible working.

woman at laptop working at desk

 

Seven in 10 HR managers say they have or could implement significant flexible working, according to a TUC poll which shows that employer attitudes towards flexible working arrangements have shifted markedly during the pandemic.

Half (49%) of HR managers polled said that greater flexible working could work for their business as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, building on the one in five (21%) who say that their business already enabled significant flexible working before the pandemic.

The poll also reveals that only one in four (24%) of the HR managers polled say they won’t enable significant flexible working at their company or business following the pandemic.

It comes as the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development revealed that a survey it did of 1,000 employers for the consultation found only 36% of businesses are accepting day-one requests for flexible working.

The TUC is calling for the government to include possible flexible working options in all job adverts and giving every worker the right to work flexibly from day one in a job.

The poll also shows more than six in ten (62 per cent) of HR managers said it would be easy to include specific information about the pattern of home or remote working available in each role in each job advert, or they already do this.

Around six in ten (59 per cent) said it would be easy to include specific information about the types of hours-based flexible working arrangements available in each job advert, or they already do this.

Over three quarters (78 per cent) of HR managers polled said it would be easy to put flexible options in job ads for home or remote working, or that they do it already. Almost two thirds (62 per cent) of those polled said this would be easy to do for hours-based flexible working arrangements, or that they already do this.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “During the pandemic, many people were able to work flexibly or from home for the first time. Staff and bosses both saw the benefits this flexibility can bring.

“But the current system is broken. A right to ask for flexible working is no right at all – especially when bosses can turn down requests with impunity.

“Attitudes to all types of flexible working changed significantly in the pandemic. Ministers need to take advantage of this – and make sure all workers can get the flexible working they need.

“Flexible working is how we keep mums in work and close the gender pay gap. It enables dads to spend more time with their kids. It helps disabled workers and carers stay in their jobs – and in employment.

“Ministers must change the law: all jobs must be advertised with the possible flexible options clearly stated, and all workers must have the legal right to work flexibly from their first day in a job.”

As a Government consultation on some aspects of flexible working closes, the TUC says people should be allowed to work flexibly from day one, unless the employer can properly justify why this is not possible and should have the right to appeal any rejections. It adds that there shouldn’t be a limit on how many times you can ask for flexible working arrangements in a year.



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