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Flexible work must be a ‘day one right’ for carers, says government committee

A recent report from the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee has highlighted the key importance of flexible working for carers. The Committee remarked that while the Government has been pushing for wider acceptance of flexible work, “the rules are at odds with its rhethoric”.

The right to request flexible working only starts once the employee has been

working for six months; but introducing more flexibility from the start of employment could encourage more carers to enter the workforce.

Fort this reason, the Committee recommended making flexible working a “day one right” for carers. There are an estimated three million people – or one in nine of the UK’s workforce – balancing care with paid work. The report flagged that, under existing legislation, many carers “conclude that caring and work cannot be combined”. Carers UK found that 21% of carers had given up work “because of workplace issues around getting flexible hours or a lack of understanding from their employer”.

According to the report, the Government should lead by example, giving proper consideration and fostering a good work culture for all employees who are carers. The also suggested all Government departments should use our “Happy To Talk Flexible Working” in job adverts. More information on the logo (which is available for download free of charge) can be found here.

Read the full Committee report here.

by Anna Viceconti

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