More than half of working mums report having had requests for flexible working turned down and have had to leave their work as a result, according to a workingmums.co.uk survey.
Some 55% of the 381 working mums polled said they had left a job because a flexible working request was turned down. Some 19% had had a request turned down, but had remained in post. Only 12% said their employer had been very flexible and 14% had negotiated a compromise with their employer. Many of the women who replied to the survey said they felt angry as a result of having flexibility turned down and several advised women in similar positions to ensure they follow all the formal flexible working legislation to the letter. Several said they felt that they were turned down for flexible working while on maternity leave as a way of pushing them out of their organisation and many said they had had flexibility agreed only to see it later rescinded.
Gillian Nissim, founder of www.workingmums.co.uk, said: “While workingmums.co.uk believes many employers recognise that flexible working is beneficial to both them and their employees in terms of reduced overheads, less time off sick and more productive and motivated staff, some still seem to perceive it as purely being in the interests of employees. We are also disturbed by reports of women feeling they are being forced out of their organisation while on maternity leave because they have requested flexible working. Of course, not all jobs can be done flexibly, but often a compromise can be reached. We advise all women who want to seek flexible working to make a formal request as this means that their organisation must follow certain procedures which offer some form of protection.”
For more information on the flexible working process, see: http://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/career-advice/197211/flexible-working-a-guide-for-employers.thtml