Acas backs bid to extend flexible working to part-time staff

Acas chief executive John Taylor has pledged the organisation’s full support to help employers extend flexible working to part-time staff.

A report by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), released today, shows that more than half of the UK’s part-time workers are in jobs that they feel fail to capitalise on their qualifications, skills and previous management experience.

The EOC’s Part Time Is No Crime – So Why The Penalty? report states that working part-time in low-paid jobs can ‘scar’ their income, earnings potential and promotion prospects for life, while the economy loses essential skills.

It argues that the way to tackle the stigma and disadvantages faced by those who work part-time is by opening up flexible working practices at all levels of the economy, and granting the right to request flexible working to carers and parents of older children.

Taylor said: “There are many advantages to employing part-time workers. They have higher productivity and lower absence rates than full-timers, and they can provide cover for busy periods.

“In the next two weeks, we will be launching our new e-learning package ‘Working Parents’, which gives all the facts from maternity and paternity leave through to the right for working parents to request flexible working outlined in the recent DTI legislation,” he said.

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