TWO-OUT OF FIVE low-paid young parents asking for flexible working arrangements are “penalised” with fewer hours, worse shifts and even the sack, a TUC report revealed yesterday.
Many of those surveyed said bosses forced them to take holiday or sick leave to cover childcare with others saying they were refused permission to leave work in an emergency.
And it found that more than half of the 1,000 people surveyed were not aware of their employment rights.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady criticised bosses for their attitude to flexible working requests and said it was difficult to plan childcare when shifts change at the last minute and weekly hours don’t fit a regular pattern.
“It is shocking that some mums and dads are being stopped from taking their children to hospital when they are sick,” she said.
Ms O’Grady said workers should be given at least one months notice of their shifts and written information about their rights as parents.
A Business Department spokesman said the strength of the economy relied on a flexible labour market but it must work “both ways” benefiting business and workers.
But Equality and Human Rights Commission director Ben Wilson said it was time for a radical change in our culture to make flexible working “the norm.”
He said that all jobs should be advertised with the option of flexible working to remove barriers parents face in their careers.