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3rd September 2019

One in three flexible working requests turned down

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Almost one in three requests for flexible working are being turned down by employers, a survey has found, renewing calls for legislation to make flexible working the default position among employers.

A poll of 2,700 people, conducted by the TUC, found 30 per cent of all flexible working requests were rejected. Employers can turn down requests if they can offer a legitimate business reason for doing so.

The survey also found 58 per cent of workers in the UK believed flexible working was ‘unavailable’ in their current role. This rose to two-thirds (68 per cent) for those in what the TUC described as ‘working class’ roles in sectors such as retail and social care.

Its vital organisations offer flexible working options to their employers. It leads to increased productivity and improved wellbeing thus making it good for both the employer and employee.

According to CIPD, based on their report ‘Employee Outlook Focus: commuting and flexible working’, the top three most cited benefits of flexible working are:

  • It enables a better work-life balance.
  • It helps reduce the amount of stress/pressure employees feel under.
  • It has been a factor in employees staying with their current employer.

The aim of flexible working is simply to create a more responsive, efficient and effective organisation, which ultimately improves business performance and increases customer satisfaction. Therefore, going forward it’s important that organisations rethink their flexible working policies and practices.  

To read more about the TUC research, you can read the People Management article here.