Flexible Working for all Roles

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Conservative MP, Helen Whately, has introduced a bill in Parliament suggesting that flexible working should be offered by default for all roles with employers being required to “opt out” if a job cannot be done flexibly.

The right to request flexible working has been with us for some years now with the onus being on the employee to make a formal request to their employer if they wish to have flexible working arrangements.

Ms Whately did acknowledge that many jobs needed to be carried out in a specific location and at a specific time and so suggested that the bill would require employers to detail reasons why a job could not be carried out flexibly.

She said: “We know how powerful the psychology of the opt-out is, compared with that of the opt-in. Pensions auto-enrolment has successfully reversed the decline in the number of people saving into a workplace pension – 10 million more people are now saving for their old age thanks to the policy. Let us apply that same principle to flexible working, and ask employers to opt out of flexibility.”

This bill received its second reading on 17th July 2019 but as a Private Members’ Bill, it will only become law if it received government backing. We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this…..

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