We read an interesting article on OnRec this week about middle aged workers feeling that colleagues with families or children are prioritised at work and given more flexibility than they are. We believe in fairness for all. We have summarised the article below.
Among UK workers between 45 and 54 years of age who work with other people, 27% believe that colleagues who have families and children are given preferential treatment by their employer. This finding comes from a survey by YouGov for Croner, where about 1,175 working adults with colleagues took part.
Employees with children can ask for flexible work schedules under current workplace legislation. This same privilege is denied to workers who do not have family obligations. Croner asked survey respondents if their employer placed the needs of workers with children and families ahead of the rest. About 18% of workers among those age 45 to 54 agreed, and 9% strongly agreed.
Opinions have varied greatly by region. Participants with jobs in Scotland were much less in agreement, only about 14% do agree. People living in Humber and Yorkshire however, are much more in agreement. About 32% of them agree with the findings.
Flexible work rules have been a good thing for the recruitment of workers with family obligations, according to senior employment consultant Carol Smith. The UK government has modernised legislation so workers can improve their work-life balance.
In May of 2011 the government called for a plan to extend flexible work rules to all employees. These plans have now been cancelled however, leaving older UK workers without them. Even without legislation, Croner recommends that firms have flexible work policies covering all employees, thus minimizing workplace conflict.
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