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People in working-class jobs most likely to miss out on flexible working arrangements

One in three (30%) requests for flexible working are being turned down, according to a new TUC poll published today (Monday). 

The polling – published as children around the UK go back to school this week – reveals that flexible working is not available to many workers, and that people in working-class jobs are most likely to miss out on it. 

The survey shows: 

  • Flexi-time is unavailable to over half (58%) of the UK workforce. This number rises to nearly two-thirds (64%) for people in working-class occupations. 

  • 3 in 10 workers (28%) say their desire for more flexible hours is one of the main reasons they might look for a new job. 

The TUC is today joining the Flex for All alliance – along with Pregnant then Screwed, Fawcett Society, Mother Pukka, the Young Women’s Trust and the Fatherhood Institute. 

The Flex for All campaign has launched a petition to change the law so that flexible working is open to all workers from day one in the job, with employers required to advertise all jobs on that basis. 

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Flexible working should be a day one right that’s available to everyone.  

“But under current law bosses have free rein to turn down requests. 

“It’s not right that millions are struggling to balance their work and home lives. Ministers must change the law so that people can work flexibly – regardless of what type of contract they are on. 

“Allowing people more flexibility in how and when they do their work makes them happier and more productive.” 

Editors note

- The polling was carried out for the TUC by GQR. It was a nationally representative online survey of UK adult (16+) population who are in full-time or part-time employment. The fieldwork was carried out between 2-6 July and the total sample was 2,700 people. For more information about GQR please visit: 
- The Flex for All petition is available at: 
- Congress 2019 will be held in the Brighton Centre from Sunday 8 September to Wednesday 11 September. The deadline for free media passes has now passed. Applications will be processed in Brighton and will cost £75. 

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