Gillian Nissim, founder of Workingmums.co.uk, welcomes news that the Government is to extend the right to request flexible working.
The news that there is to be an extension of the right to request flexible working to parents with children up to the age of 12 is very welcome. The challenges of combining work and family life don’t suddenly disappear when a child reaches 6 and in fact can become more complex. This extension of rights will certainly help a great many parents continue to successfully manage the logistics of combining work with family life, meaning they can spend more time with their children, fulfilling their parental responsibility and providing care for their families. It will go a long way to help addressing issues around childcare whilst also ensuring employers continue to benefit from the many years of experience and skills and talents that working parents bring to the work place.
In my experience and as founder of WorkingMums.co.uk, a thriving jobsite and community for professional women looking for flexible, part-time, office and home-based job opportunities, there are many employers out there not only willing to offer flexible working but who also see the benefits that working parents bring to their job. These benefits include the ability to multi-task, finely honed communication and negotiation skills, good time-management skills, loyalty and commitment.
My advice to any parents who wish to request flexible working is to sit down and talk with their employer, putting forward a sound argument for why working flexibly will be positive for the company as well as for them along with well thought through suggestions for how it might work in practice. If they are still facing resistance, then the parents should seek advice – for example, we have a legal expert on the site who can answer queries, and professional bodies such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission, The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) and the Citizens Advice Bureau, all offer free advice.
We do a lot of work with professional women with children and the overriding sentiment is that they love their families and they love being mothers, but they are also professional women and work has always been a big part of their lives.
Gillian Nissim, founder, WorkingMums.co.uk