‘Proper to request’ versatile work not granted for half of UK’s working moms

Half of the UK’s working moms don’t get the flexibleness they ask for, whereas those who do work flexibly face discrimination, in keeping with a survey.

The survey of just about 13,000 moms carried out by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the marketing campaign group Mom Pukka discovered that one in two had had a request for versatile working turned down or solely partly accepted by their present employer.

Frances O’Grady, the TUC secretary basic, mentioned the survey uncovered the failure of the system, with the authorized “proper to request” versatile working having been in place for twenty years.

“The present system is damaged. Employers nonetheless have free rein to show down requests for versatile working. And girls are too scared to ask for versatile working at job interviews, for concern of being discriminated in opposition to,” she mentioned.

The survey discovered 86% of ladies working flexibly mentioned that they had confronted discrimination and drawback at work, two in 5 (42%) mentioned they’d concern discrimination in the event that they requested about versatile working in a job interview, and the identical share mentioned they had been fearful about their employer’s response in the event that they requested for versatile work.

Final month the Division for Enterprise, Vitality and Industrial Technique (Beis) proposed introducing the proper to request versatile working from the second somebody begins a job, and obliging firms “to consider what options they might provide”.

Unions mentioned the proposals didn’t go far sufficient and that somewhat than making individuals ask for versatile working – akin to house working, job sharing, agreed predictable hours, term-time working, flexitime and condensed hours – job adverts ought to set out what kind of choices can be found for the function.

The TUC – alongside members of the Flex for All alliance together with Pregnant then Screwed, Fawcett Society, Mom Pukka, the Younger Girls’s Belief and the Fatherhood Institute – is looking for employers to publish versatile working choices in job adverts, give profitable candidates a day-one proper to take it up, in addition to the proper to enchantment in opposition to any rejections.

O’Grady mentioned: “Ministers must do extra than simply tinker with a flawed system. They should change the regulation so that every one jobs are marketed with versatile choices clearly said, and all staff have the authorized proper to work flexibly from their first day in a job.”

The survey, which was self-selecting and had 12,855 responses from working moms, discovered that 96% of respondents thought the federal government ought to give all staff the proper to versatile working from day one in a job, and 99% mentioned they’d be extra prone to apply for a job if it included the particular varieties of versatile working accessible within the advert.

“There’s overwhelming assist for mums and all working mother and father to have the ability to work flexibly to handle their work and caring commitments,” mentioned O’Grady. “It’s time to make versatile working the norm as we emerge from the pandemic. It’s one of the best ways to maintain ladies in work and to shut the gender pay hole.”

Anna Whitehouse, the founding father of Mom Pukka, mentioned she stop her job after she requested to start out work quarter-hour earlier so she may decide up her baby from nursery, and was denied as a result of her employer didn’t need to “open the floodgates” to others looking for flexibility.

“Versatile working is firmly on Whitehall’s desk, however in 2021, 50% of working mums are nonetheless having their requests turned down,” she mentioned. “There’s a break within the floodgates, however the authorized proper to versatile working have to be made accessible from the get-go if we’re going to lastly change this outdated and discriminative system for good.”

‘Right to request’ flexible work not granted for half of UK’s working mothers