The CIPD believes there should be more equal sharing of parental leave and pay
The right to request flexible working should be available to all employees, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
The professional organisation has also urged the Government to resist pressure to exempt micro-businesses and start-ups from flexible working legislation.
According to the CIPD’s response to the Government’s Modern Workplaces consultation
, flexible working delivers a range of benefits to both employers and employees.
“Extending the right to request flexible working to all employees is long overdue. Restricting it to groups of parents and carers creates a mistaken assumption that flexibility is a perk that is good for some but not others," said Mike Emmott, employee relations adviser at the CIPD.
“The truth is that many employers — large and small — have anticipated the Government’s proposal and are willing to consider requests from any employee. They see the business benefits of helping employees balance their work with their lifestyle and personal commitments, at a time when organisations need to be driving competitive edge through their people.
"Organisations have grasped the reality that an employee who gives everything they can within flexible working hours offers more than someone reluctantly working a ‘typical’ working day because that is all that is on offer.
“We are concerned that the Government has even considered exempting micro-businesses and start-ups from the proposals — particularly when the regulations will come into effect after the current three-year moratorium. Excluding businesses of any size from the application of employment regulation would tend towards the creation of a two-tier labour market and could be a perverse disincentive for small businesses to expand.
“We believe that the flexible working regulations are a great example of light-touch legislation and we see no case for excluding micro-businesses and start-ups when the regulations are extended.”
The CIPD also said whether parental leave and pay should be available in the same proportions to mothers and fathers.
“CIPD members support the direction of travel outlined in the flexible parental leave proposals," said Emmott.
"We believe that encouraging fathers to play a bigger role in bringing up children will help more women fulfil their potential in the workplace and have a positive impact in tackling deep-seated issues, such as discrimination in recruitment, equal pay and women in the boardroom. Without more equal sharing of parental leave and pay, it is unlikely that the current division of caring responsibilities will shift.”