The importance of flexible working has been highlighted throughout the Covid pandemic (Picture:Getty)
The government has reportedly postponed plans to make flexible working an automatic right in employment, a pledge dating back three years.
In its 2019 election manifesto, the Conservative Party promised to ‘encourage flexible working and consult on making it the default unless employers have a good reason not to’.
The commitment was expected to be included in the long-awaited Employment Bill and announced during the Queen’s Speech in May, but has since been scrapped.
When asked if the bill was likely to be in the statement, a government official told Financial Times: ‘No. Not everything we want to do can we find space for in one season, we can’t do everything we want to do immediately.’
Calls for the Employment Bill grew three years ago after anger about the working conditions and pay in factories and warehouses across the country.
Coupled with the emerging ‘fire and rehire’ practice, as well as fears of dwindling workers’ rights post-Brexit, Boris Johnson promised to the revamp workers rights in December 2019.
It’s the second government U-turn in just two days after the ‘conversion therapies’ debacle (Picture: Zuma)
As well as the right to flexible working, the Bill was to give more predictable contracts, protection for pregnant employees and a single body to enforce workers’ rights.
All employees – not just parents and carers – have the right to request flexible working if they have worked for the same employers for 26 weeks currently.
Labour said it would be an ‘extraordinary’ move for the government to backtrack on the proposals especially in the wake of the P&O Ferries firing scandal.
The sentiment was echoed by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) who said it represented a ‘betrayal of working people’.
‘What happened at P&O should have marked a turning point for workers’ rights. But by abandoning the employment bill, the government is sending a message that it is happy for rogue employers to treat staff like dirt’ said General Secretary Franced O’Grady.
A government spokesperson did not deny the Bill would be shelved from the Queen’s Speech, but said that ministers were committed to ‘ensuring workers’ rights are robustly protected while also fostering a dynamic and flexible labour market’.
The postponement follows the controversial U-turn on plans to ban conversion therapy after the government quietly decided to shelve the proposal.
The move was highly criticised forcing Downing Street to push ahead with the legislation that will outlaw the practice.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at email@example.com.
For more stories like this, check our news page.
Source Here: metro.co.uk