Flexible Working Bill introduced to Parliament

01 July 2021

On 30 June 2021, Labour MP, Tulip Siddiq, read a Flexible Working Bill in the House of Commons, which would mean that all staff would be entitled to flexible working from day one of employment.

At present, employees must have worked for the same employer for a minimum of 26 weeks to be eligible to make a flexible working request.

Employers would be required to offer flexible working arrangements in employment contracts and to explain what flexibility is available when advertising job vacancies. More widespread flexible working options would particularly benefit working women, who are significantly impacted by the current lack of working arrangements of this nature. Siddiq quoted McKinsey research in her speech, as follows:

“McKinsey has pointed out that if we fully utilise women in the UK economy, by 2030 we would be adding £150 billion to our economy. A lot of that depends on widening flexible working and making sure people buy into it.”

The Shadow Minister for Education also used statistics to show that, since 2020, only 17% of job vacancies in the UK accommodated flexible working. She asserted that passing this Bill would have a variety of benefits on the wider economy and particularly for marginalised groups, including those who are on low incomes.

CIPP comment

As we emerge from the pandemic, and some semblance of normality resumes, what are your views on the future of working practices? Do you think flexible working should be made a day one right? Has the way you worked changed since the outbreak of coronavirus in 2020? Send your thoughts and experiences to the Policy team, at [email protected].

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