A recent survey from Workingmums.co.uk suggests over a fifth of working mums have been forced to leave their jobs because a flexible working request was turned down. The survey also found that 38 per cent of those still on maternity leave would not return to their jobs if flexible working wasn’t granted.
Another report in June Timewise,highlighted that 14.1 million people in Britain want more flexibility in their working hours to fit in with modern life, equivalent to almost half the working population. However, out of 3.5m job adverts, Timewise found that only 6.2 per cent mentioned a degree of flexibility and offered a salary deemed high enough to live on – the full time equivalent (FTE) of £20,000 or more.
Commenting about the findings, Adrian Lewis, commercial director at Activ Absence, said: “It seems that many companies are struggling to integrate flexible working into their businesses. Many smaller companies especially are declining requests and currently, there is no statutory right to appeal if a request is turned down.
“To successfully offer flexible working not only requires a great deal of trust, it involves good communication, processes and technology so people can operate as productivity and seamlessly as if they were in the office. Larger organisations tend to be better equipped to do this, whilst smaller companies find it challenging.”
“Companies need visibility of when employees are available and working, otherwise it can be challenging to ensure things run smoothly in the office. A robust system is also needed that shows everyone who is on holiday, sick or working at home, as people won’t want to be contacted 24/7,” adds Mr Lewis.