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The East Dulwich Forum
The Bishop, The EDT, The Great Exhibition, the Actress or another?
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messageRe: Flexible working after maternity
Posted by rahrahrah 10 April, 2012 14:42

I agree that in general employers need to be more flexible. It's unfortunate that so few employers see the mutual benefit in being so. I have to say however, that in my experience, most local authorities are pretty good when it comes to accomodating flexible working requests. Certainly relative to many private sector firms they could almost be considered exemplars of good practice.

I do not beleive that it is helpful to force businesses to accomodate any and all requests regardless of how it may impact on operations. This is unlikely to help anyone's cause in the long run. To ensure that businesses are genuinely considering requests and exploring options which can work with the needs of the business, seems reasonable.

The weakness in the current legal position of course, is that the actual decision itself isn't really examined, simply the process. But if tribunals were to second guess actual decisions, they would effectively be taking on the role of proxy manager. In such a senario, you could just as well cut out the middle man and have decisions go straight to a judge. I can see therefore, why the law only goes as far as it does.

My unease with the situaiton described above however, is that it isn't a case of someone going after a really bad employer who simply refuses to even contenance flexible working, but a local authority who has considered the case and tried to offer some options.

The real issue when it comes to getting back to work after having a child are the cost of living (in particular housing) and the expense of childcare. If you want to make a real difference then lobby your MP to change policy in these areas. Don't sue local tax payers.

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