Survey Reveals that only half of UK Working Mothers’ Flexible Working Requests are Successful

October 27, 2021


A recent survey published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has found that half of almost 13,000 working mothers surveyed had seen their requests for flexible working either rejected or only partially accepted by their bosses.

This survey follows the launch of the UK government’s consultation, ‘Making flexible working the default’, which is examining whether current flexible working rights should be widened.

What were the survey’s findings?

  • 50% of working mothers’ flexible working requests were either rejected or only accepted in part by their employer;

  • 86% of working mothers who were working flexibly have faced discrimination or disadvantages at work as a result; and

  • 42% of working mothers were worried about requesting flexible working due to concerns about their employers’ negative reaction.

What do the survey’s findings tell us?

The results of the survey reflect that many employers remain unwilling to adopt flexible working practices, despite the increase in flexible working during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the Government’s consultation has identified benefits of flexible working to employers such as widened talent pools for recruitment and increased productivity and morale among staff.

What changes to the flexible working regulations are being called for?

  • That possible flexible working arrangements should be specifically advertised in job adverts;

  • That an employee should have the right to request flexible working arrangements from the first day of his/her employment (rather than after 6 months);

  • The right to appeal the rejection of a flexible working request; and

  • No limit on the number of times an employee may request flexible working arrangements in a year.

If you are an employee and feel your request for flexible working has been unfairly rejected, or if you are an employer seeking advice on how best to implement flexible working arrangements in your workplace, contact Damian Phillips on / 02920829126 for an initial free, no-obligation conversation.



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