Flexible working report merely reflects real experiences

The Working Families review of calls to our helpline during 2007 is most emphatically not a “shopping list” of what we would like (‘Flexible working report under fire’, Personnel Today, 15 April) but an analysis of 5,000 predominantly low income parents whose experience shows that they are being failed by their employers and legislation.

The parents who contact our helpline encounter difficulties which cause stress, unhappiness and in some cases threaten their employment. Some of the managers concerned are struggling themselves without HR support others are from well-resourced organisations, but still fail to meet the standards their HR teams assume are in place.

What our report really demonstrates is the human and business cost of not getting flexible working right. For many employees, and in many workplaces, the right to request has been an undoubted success, and employers ought not to fear its extension.

Sarah Jackson, chief executive, Working Families

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