Firms reinforce gender bias by being inflexible

UK employers are reinforcing the idea that working mothers should have to reduce hours and juggle childcare and work by turning down many flexible working requests from men, a TUC report has warned.

The Out of Time report shows that in the two years since the right to request flexible working was introduced as an option for parents of children under six, about 10% of male employees approached their bosses about changing their working hours. In the same period, 19% of women put in requests to work flexibly.

According to the report, managers looked more favourably on requests submitted by their female members of staff.

TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said employer attitudes were reinforcing the gender pay gap.

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