Half of the UK’s working moms don’t get the pliability they ask for, whereas people who do work flexibly face discrimination, in accordance with a survey.
The survey of virtually 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 normal, 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 ladies are too scared to ask for versatile working at job interviews, for worry of being discriminated in opposition to,” she mentioned.
The survey discovered 86% of ladies working flexibly mentioned they’d confronted discrimination and drawback at work, two in 5 (42%) mentioned they’d worry discrimination in the event that they requested about versatile working in a job interview, and the identical share mentioned they have been frightened 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 best to request versatile working from the second somebody begins a job, and obliging corporations “to consider what alternate options they may supply”.
Unions mentioned the proposals didn’t go far sufficient and that slightly than making individuals ask for versatile working – comparable to residence 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 Ladies’s Belief and the Fatherhood Institute – is asking 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 best to attraction 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 acknowledged, and all employees 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 employees the best 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 kinds of versatile working out there within the advert.
“There may be overwhelming assist for mums and all working dad and mom 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 the easiest way to maintain ladies in work and to shut the gender pay hole.”
Anna Whitehouse, the founding father of Mom Pukka, mentioned she give up her job after she requested to begin work quarter-hour earlier so she might choose up her youngster 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 should be made out there from the get-go if we’re going to lastly change this outdated and discriminative system for good.”
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