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Working mothers denied flexible working

Published: November 1, 2016

Many working mothers are being denied the option to work flexible hours and have had to seek alternative employment, claims a new study.

The latest Workingmums Annual Survey found 18 per cent of working mothers feel they have been forced to leave their current workplace because their application to work flexibly was turned down.

Overall, 26 per cent of women in work have had their flexible working requested rejected, with 12 per cent believing their employer did not even consider their request before turning it down.

The survey also found 79 per cent did not appeal the decision, even though it could lead to them having to find a new job or have an unsatisfactory work-life balance.

Workingmums’s founder Gillian Nissim believes the government needs to look at the current flexible working policies and allow a statutory right of appeal.

She said: “This would send an important message to employers that they must give serious consideration to requests and not just dismiss them out of hand.

“While flexible working may not be possible in some cases, it is worrying to see that 12 per cent of women who said their request had been turned down did not feel it was even considered at all. Under flexible working legislation employers have a duty to deal with requests in a ‘reasonable manner’.”

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