Flexible work rules set to fail limited-skills workers

Poorer workers could miss out on the benefits family-friendly working
regulations will provide, warns The Work Foundation.

It claims the proposed regulations that intend to help employees balance
work and family life could create a two-tier workforce, unless properly

The regulations propose giving employees the right to have their requests
for family-friendly working seriously considered.

In response to the DTI’s consultation the Work Foundation said the
Government needs to monitor the quality as well as quantity of family-friendly
working on offer. This is to avoid the ‘best’ forms of flexibility going to
highly skilled or valued workers who can negotiate their own terms, leaving
only limited flexibility to other employees.

Theo Blackwell, chief policy specialist at the lobbying body, said:
"The Work Foundation welcomes the new duty to consider requests for flexible
working as a positive step that will encourage employers to modernise their
approach to flexible work requests.

"Employees who are in a position of strength may benefit the most,
while the majority, not realising the full range of flexible working on offer,
could miss the best opportunities to change their working patterns.

"We hope this duty will help employers move towards a more formal and
policy-based approach which is transparent and fairer to both employers and


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