Women could lose out in flexible working changes

flexible working rules could make women less employable, according to two
separate polls.

a poll by business information provider Croner, 60 per cent of respondents said
the new laws would make employers think twice before hiring a woman.

the new regulations, which take effect on 6 April, parents with children under
six years old have the right to request flexible working.

must seriously consider requests, and can only refuse if they can show the
arrangement would have a detrimental effect on their business.

Dawn Spalding, editor of Croner publication Workplace Equality and Diversity,
said while the new laws were intended to help equality, they could have the
opposite effect.

benefits of the new flexible working rules will obviously be negated if the
rules result in fewer women in the workforce, although the terms of the Sex
Discrimination Act should protect women sufficiently.

need not be wary of flexible working. The key is knowing how to plan and
implement it."

research from Pearn Kandola supports the findings.

asked 63 diversity and HR practitioners whether they agreed with the statement
"Flexible working legislation will result in some employers not recruiting
women". Fifty-three per cent agreed, 29 per cent disagreed, and 18 per
cent of respondents were neutral.


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