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One in three flexible working requests turned down

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

One in three requests for flexible working arrangements are being turned down, according to new research.  

The poll by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) 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 shows flexi-time is unavailable to over half (58 per cent) of the UK workforce, with this number rising to 64 per cent for people in working-class occupations.

It also found 3 in 10 workers (28 per cent) say their desire for more flexible hours is one of the main reasons they might look for a new job.

The TUC has today joined the Flex for All campaign, 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.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, 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.”

Flexible working: the facts

Under current rules, any employee – not just a parent or carer- who has worked for their company for at least 26 weeks has the right to request flexible working.

The request should be made in writing and must be dated.

Once the request has been made, the employer has three months to make a decision.

If your request is turned down, find out if your company will allow an appeal.

For more on flexible working rights, click here.