Lower paid workers denied flexible working

A survey carried out by the charity Working Families shows that people who earn less than £40,000 per year are more likely to be denied Flexible Working than those who earn more than £70,000 per year.

Flexible working can be achieved in  a number of ways including, working form home more often, split working days or reduced hours.

An eligible employee (someone who has more than 26 weeks continuous employment with the employer) may request a change to their employment terms if the change relates to:

  • A change to the hours they work.
  • A change to the times when they are required to work.
  • A change to the place of work (as between their home and any of the employer’s workplaces).

Iain Lock Managing Director of Q&A Law said ” we have recognized for some time now that people still want to work hard but that they also want to spend valuable time  looking after their children and families. It is a tough balancing act for both the employees and the organisations that they work for, but if both parties can make it work it can work very well for all. The employee is happy that they are able to look after their loved ones and this in turns leads to greater loyalty to the employer.”

However, the survey showed that high earning parents are 47%  more likely to work flexibly than those earning between £10,000 and £40,000, according to a poll of 1,000 working parents carried out by the charity Working Families.

56% of parents said as they worked such long hours it interfered with their ability to put their children to bed.

Sarah Jackson, chief executive of Working Families. said “We know flexible working makes business sense across the salary spectrum, so why should only the people who earn the most be able to reap the rewards?”  

“We want jobs at all levels to be advertised as flexible. And this should be the norm, rather than the exception.”

The Confederation of British Industry says “offering jobs at every level on a flexible basis will help companies to recruit and retain the people and skills that are needed to compete”.

Chairman of the Federation of Small Business  Mike Cherry  said “Our research shows 80% of small businesses offer or would consider offering flexible working opportunities to their staff.”

“We know three quarters of our own membership currently have at least one member of staff working flexibly, including part-time, staggered hours, home working, or flexi-time,” says FSB .

We work with many employers in advising them on flexible working arrangements and seeing if it can be achieved and what the benefits and concerns to the business and employee are. If you would like us to help you please contact Iain Lock at ilock@qandalaw.co.uk or call us  on 01920 463777

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