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Half of working mums don’t get the flexibility they ask for

20 October 2021

Story by
Sarah Rice, Editor and Director, The HR World

Half of working mums don’t get the flexibility they ask for

Half of working mums don’t get the flexibility they request at work, according to a new survey published by the TUC and campaigner Mother Pukka.

13,000 mums across the public and private sector responded to the survey, with one in two (50%) saying their current employer had rejected or only accepted part of their flexible working request.

Many women said they are put off asking for flexible working – With two in five (42%) saying they were worried about their employers’ negative reaction.

Others thought there was no point asking as it would just be turned down (42%).

Two in five (42%) mums said they would not feel comfortable asking about flexible working in a job interview because they thought they would be discriminated against.

Most (86%) of women working flexibly said that they have faced discrimination and disadvantage at work due to their flexible work arrangements.

The legal ‘right to request’ flexible working has been in place for around 20 years, but the TUC claim their survey shows the current system is broken.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “There is overwhelming support for mums and all working parents to be able to work flexibly to manage their work and caring commitments.

“It’s time to make flexible working the norm as we emerge from the pandemic. It’s the best way to keep women in work and to close the gender pay gap.

“But the current system is broken. Employers still have free rein to turn down requests for flexible working. And women are too scared to ask for flexible working at job interviews, for fear of being discriminated against.”



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