Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

One in three flexible working requests turned down, poll reveals

Business owners in Swindon and Wiltshire are being asked to consider flexible hours for working parents, after a survey revealed that one in three requests are turned down.

The polling – published as children around the UK go back to school this week – reveals that flexible working is not available to many workers, and that people in working-class jobs are most likely to miss out on it.

The survey, published by the TUC today, shows:

  • Flexi-time is unavailable to over half (58 percent) of the UK workforce. This number rises to nearly two-thirds (64 percent) for people in working-class occupations.
  • Three in ten workers (28 percent) say their desire for more flexible hours is one of the main reasons they might look for a new job.

The TUC is today joining the Flex for All alliance – along with Pregnant then Screwed, Fawcett Society, Mother Pukka, the Young Women’s Trust and the Fatherhood Institute.

The Flex for All campaign has launched a petition to change the law so that flexible working is open to all workers from day one in the job, with employers required to advertise all jobs on that basis.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Flexible working should be a day one right that’s available to everyone. But under current law bosses have free rein to turn down requests.

“It’s not right that millions are struggling to balance their work and home lives. Ministers must change the law so that people can work flexibly – regardless of what type of contract they are on.

“Allowing people more flexibility in how and when they do their work makes them happier and more productive.”