Flexible Working - Make Your Voice Heard

The government is consulting on making flexible working easier. Their idea is to give all employees the right to request flexible working on the first day of their job. At the moment employees have to wait until they have worked somewhere for 26 weeks before they can ask.

We think there's a big flaw in only allowing employees to request flexible working once they are in a job - people won't know if they can get the flexibility they need until they start. There's an easy solution to this. Employers must be required to put flexible working options in all job adverts. 

The government have asked people to respond to their formal consultation about flexible working. We need them to hear from all of us. We know this is a big ask but together we can win flexible working for everyone.

This campaign is hosted by the TUC on behalf of Flex For All. Flex For All is an alliance between: TUC, Pregnant Then Screwed, Fawcett Society, Mother Pukka, Young Women's Trust, Gingerbread and The Fatherhood Institute.


Answer the questions below in full sentences with details of your own personal experience. We will put them together into a response to the government.

We've put some key facts and arguments below - feel free to add any of these in, or just state your own experience. 

1. Please explain why flexible working is important to you. You may want to set out your caring or other commitments, or make reference to a disability or condition that you have.

2. Lots of people have told us they wouldn’t feel comfortable asking for flexible working in a job interview. Please set out how you would feel asking for flexible working in a job interview.

3. Would it help you if the types of flexible working available in a role were included in a job advert? Please explain why.

4. Do you think employers can turn down flexible working requests too easily? Have you ever had a request turned down? What was the impact on you?

5. If you have asked for flexible working, how long did you wait for a response from your employer? What was the impact on you?

6. Is there anything else you would like to add about why the government should make flexible working easier?

Why we need employers to put flexible working options in job adverts. You can copy and paste some of these arguements and statistics into your responses if you want to.

  • People who need flexible working - mums, dads, carers, disabled workers and so many others -  need to know what flexibility they will get before they apply. They can’t wait until the first day to find out. More than nine in 10 mums who worked flexibly told the TUC they would find it difficult or impossible to do their job without it. Nearly seven in 10 working dads feel stuck in their current role because of concerns they wouldn’t find another job with the right flexibility.
  • For people who need to work flexibly, the right to request flexible working on your first day of employment would mean you would need to ask in an interview or on your first day of job. Four in ten working mums told the TUC they wouldn’t ask in an interview because they thought they would be discriminated against and their request rejected. Sometimes flexible workers are seen as awkward or less committed to their jobs.
  • For those who do ask, one in three requests for flexible working are turned down and the vast majority encounter discrimination as a result of making the request.
  • Employers must put flexible working options in all job adverts, with workers having the right to take these up when they start the job. 

The TUC is committed to your privacy. By completing this survey, you are agreeing to the TUC using your data as outlined in our privacy policy. We will also forward your response to the government department running the consultation, excluding your mobile number and post code. Details on how they use your data are here.

This campaign is hosted by Trades Union Congress. We will protect your privacy, and keep you informed about this campaign and others.