Flexible Working

Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons on 11th March 2020.

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Photo of Jonathan Gullis Jonathan Gullis Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent North

What steps the Government Equalities Office is taking to promote flexible working.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

The Government are clear about the benefits of flexible working for employers and employees. Last year, we consulted on proposals to require large employers to publish flexible working policies and to advertise jobs as suitable for flexible working, and we will respond to that consultation in due course. Since then, we have committed in our manifesto to make flexible working the default. Subject to consultation, we will bring forward these new measures in our employment Bill.

Photo of Jonathan Gullis Jonathan Gullis Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent North

The majority of unpaid carers in Stoke-on-Trent North, Kidsgrove and Talke are women caring for young children or elderly relatives. Does my hon. Friend agree that increasing opportunities to work flexibly will benefit women by sharing caring duties more equally, and will ultimately lead to more equality for women in work and more opportunities for women to get into work?

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

My hon. Friend is working on a modern “silicon Stoke”, and to get that he needs modern working practices. Flexible working helps people with a range of needs to remain in and to access work, including mothers, carers and parents. We want to give everybody a choice to determine how best they can balance their home and work life, including fathers. Flexible working can give them that choice, which is why we are keen to do more.