Growing numbers support flexible working for health reasons

The latest British Attitudes Survey shows a rise in support for flexible working for those returning from sick leave and those with health issues.

woman working from home at night

 

The number of people who support flexible working for those who have been ill or suffer from a health condition has increased over the last year, according to the latest British Social Attitudes survey.

The annual survey of 3,000 people carried out by the National Centre for Social Research found 68% of people now think employers should allow someone who has been ill to undertake a phased return to work, compared with 55% in 2019. 59% say employers should allow an employee with a health condition to work from home, up from 51% pre-pandemic.

The survey also found that more people than ever think that paid work is ‘very good’ for people’s health. 41% say that paid work is ‘very good’ for people’s mental health, an increase from 26% before the pandemic. 27% now think that paid work is ‘very good’ for people’s physical health, up from 17% before the pandemic.

However, those aged 18-24 are  the least likely to say work is ‘very good’ for people’s health. For example, 14% of them think working is ‘very good’ for mental health, compared with 27% of all adults and 34% of over 60s.

The survey also found that nearly two-thirds (64%) agreed that ‘ordinary working people do not get their fair share of the nation’s wealth’. This is up from 57% in 2019 and higher than in any year since 1998.

The same proportion (64%) agreed that there is ‘one law for the rich and one for the poor’, up from 56% in 2019. The figure has not been higher than this at any time since 1997.

However,  although the proportion agreeing with the statement that ‘the government should redistribute income and wealth from the better–off to the less well-off’ rose slightly on the previous year, the proportion disagreeing also increased, from 27% to 30%.

The survey also covers issues such as trust in the government and attitudes to unemployment.



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