ACAS: Change in attitude towards flexible work

ACAS has published a report that suggests employers are not doing enough to support parents who take an extended period of leave for parental and caring responsibilities.

According to the report, although employers encourage women to take maternity leave, managers fail to make male employees aware of their entitlements. This includes paternity leave, paternity pay and other flexible working options.

Flexible working options for men

The report confirmed that the take-up rate of flexible options was significantly lower for men, with 15% of fathers deciding to work part-time, compared to 59% of mothers.

The report suggested the uptake disparity of flexible working contributed to the gender pay gap as part-time workers were often less likely to be promoted to senior roles compared to their full-time counterparts.

Cultural change

To tackle the issue, ACAS has called for a cultural change within the workplace as the survey revealed that male employees are often perceived as less ambitious when they request flexible hours.

Kate Fretten, Employment Partner at Frettens, says “The report called for more schemes to support and encourage those that decided to return to work after taking time off. It calls on employers to assess flexible working requests based on their business needs and not on the employees' reason for making the request.”

At Frettens, all of our solicitors offer a free initial meeting or chat on the phone to answer your questions. If this article raises issues for you or your business, please call us on 01202 499255 and Kate or Paul will be happy to discuss it with you.