Employees pessimistic about new rights

Link: Home working: your flexible friend

A study carried out by the Equal Opportunities Commission found that of 800 people surveyed, less than half thought their bosses would respond favourably to flexible working requests.

More worrying could be this statistic: 40% of respondents were completely unaware of their future rights, which will allow parents who have children under the age of six, (or under 18 for disabled children) to apply for flexible hours.

However, once told of the new law, nearly three-quarters said they were in favour of more flexibility in their jobs.

Julie Mellor, chairman of the EOC said: ‘We need a radical change of culture in the workplace so that parents feel confident enough to ask their boss for flexibility if they need it. This must be seen as a real option for men too.

David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, which supports the campaign said: ‘Flexible working can increase staff morale and business productivity, especially in the SME market.

Under the new guidelines, parents who have worked more than twenty six weeks for their employer will be allowed to ask for more convenient work hours or to be able to work from home. It is expected that as many as 3.7 million parents stand to benefit.

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