Queen’s Speech: Confusion on flexible working
The Coalition Agreement commits the Government to extending the right to request flexible working to all employees – a positive and progressive move which would do much to improve working lives and promote gender equality.
But today’s Queen’s Speech has not included a Bill to legislate for this change – and rather than proposing new regulations, commits the Government to the much less specific goal of “removing barriers to flexible working”. The extent of what the Coalition will achieve on flexible working, and its timetable for acting to fulfil the committment in its agreement, therefore remains unclear.
Update: Further details on the Coalition’s plans on flexible working are now on the No. 10 website – it transpires that “rushing” legislation on this issue would not allow for “full consultation” with business and families. Despite re-stating many of the positive benefits that the extension could have – increasing the availability of flexible posts, reducing any stigma attached to making a request and promoting work-life balance for all employees, no legislative timetable is provided.