'The UK Government is pressing ahead with consulting on plans to give everyone the right to request flexible working from the first day in a job.
The move, reported earlier this week, will lead to 2.2 million more people given the right, rather than having to wait for six months under current arrangements, said ministers' (https://lnkd.in/eqjRwjwc).
It has been said there will be certain circumstances when flexible working cannot be offered due to genuine business reasons.
As Finitas recruit professionals across finance, governance and change, a large proportion of our roles, mandates and work can be done from home or at a time outside of the regular ‘working hours’. As such, we conducted a poll to collate the thoughts of our network on this matter.
So we asked, do you think the nature of roles should affect whether flexible working is offered?
Surprisingly, the results presented a resounding ‘Yes’, with 100% of voters maintaining that the nature of your role should affect whether flexible working is offered. To consider this further, we examined what flexible working really means and when it should be offered.
It is firstly worth recognising that flexible working was once a luxury, the pandemic has simply shown that working from home is far more productive than we first imagined. It is also worth arguing that remote working eliminates penalisation of location or background. Everyone should be given fair opportunity to succeed in their role.
While you may have to be present in person for certain events, client meetings and pitches for example, should this affect whether you’re offered flexible working at all? This may seem rather black and white.
However, there are many instances where roles cannot support every kind of flexible working, traders and front office for example. And as such, under the new plans ‘employers will still have free rein to turn down all or any requests for flexible working’ (https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-government-flexible-working-plans-are-just-tinkering-around-edges). Yet, when we look at the skeleton definition of ‘flexible working’, it is ‘the name given to any type of working pattern which is different from your existing one’ (https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/rights-at-work/flexible-working/flexible-working-what-is-it/).
In essence, many contend that this could be offered to everyone regardless of your role. This may not mean working from home as such, but perhaps staggered hours or term-time work for instance. Though clearly not all professions can support every kind of flexible working, can all professions support some type of flexitime to support work-life balance?
If you would like to discuss any of the above, please do get in touch.
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