Mums’ poll shows big interest in day one flex

A snap poll shows the level of demand for day one flexible working and how growing numbers are willing to turn down jobs if they don’t get the flexibility they want.

keyboard with 'flexible' working


Over two thirds [67%] of working mums say they are likely to request flexible working from day one in a new job when flexible working legislation changes, according to a pop-up poll by

The poll of nearly 300 mums also found that 58% of mums said they would refuse a job if they were not given flexible working. 

The Employment Relations [Flexible Working] Bill is making its way through Parliament and is still awaiting Royal Assent. It is expected to become law next year. It will grant a day one right to request flexible working – rather than having to wait 26 weeks as employees do currently. Other changes on the current legislation include a stipulation that employers should consult with employees and look at alternative ways of working if they cannot agree to a flexible working request, a reduction in the time employers have to make a decision [down from three months to two], an increase in the number of flexible working requests a person can make in a year [up from one to two] and the dropping of the necessity for employees to show they have considered the business impact of their request.

The poll found 50% of mums are aware of the new legislation. However,  only a quarter [26%] understand how the current legislation on which it is based works. This includes the eight broad reasons on which a request can be turned down. 

The poll also found that 37% of mums said they were more likely to change jobs as a result of the new legislation, although 39% said they didn’t know if they might be more likely. A quarter said the current rules had put them off changing jobs. Just over half [52%] said they hadn’t.

Nearly 200 older workers answered a similar poll. Their answers were broadly in line with mums’ responses, except that they were 10% less likely to request flexible working from day one and significantly less likely to refuse to take a job if they didn’t get flexible working.

The results of the mums’ poll are broadly in line with a survey out today from Timewise which found a big demand for flexible working once the day one right comes in. The exact details of how the legislation will work, for instance, if people will be able to request flexible working from interview or in their first day of work [meaning they could have to wait two months before they are able to work flexibly if their request is accepted] has yet to be spelt out.

More information can be found here on negotiating a flexible working request and advice from lawyers on the implications of the new legislation.

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