One in three flexible working requests turned down, TUC finds

By agency reporter
September 3, 2019

One in three (30 per cent) requests for flexible working are being turned down, according to a new TUC poll. The polling – published as children around the UK go back to school – reveals that flexible working is not available to many workers, and that people in working-class jobs are most likely to miss out on it. 

The survey shows: 

  • Flexi-time is unavailable to over half (58 per cent) of the UK workforce. This number rises to nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) for people in working-class occupations. 

  • Three in 10 workers (28 per cent per cent) say their desire for more flexible hours is one of the main reasons they might look for a new job. 

The TUC is joining the Flex for All alliance – along with Pregnant then Screwed, Fawcett Society, Mother Pukka, the Young Women’s Trust and the Fatherhood Institute. 

The Flex for All campaign has launched a petition to change the law so that flexible working is open to all workers from day one in the job, with employers required to advertise all jobs on that basis. 

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Flexible working should be a day one right that’s available to everyone.  But under current law bosses have free rein to turn down requests. 

“It’s not right that millions are struggling to balance their work and home lives. Ministers must change the law so that people can work flexibly – regardless of what type of contract they are on. 

“Allowing people more flexibility in how and when they do their work makes them happier and more productive.”

* Flex for All petition here

* Trades Union Congress


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