Shadow children’s minister Tulip Siddiq today introduced the Flexible Working Bill, aimed at giving workers a right to flexible working arrangements.
Siddiq said the Bill, introduced through the Ten Minute Rule, would “give workers the right to flexible working from the first day of employment, except in exceptional circumstances” and “require employers to offer flexible working arrangements in employment contracts and advertise the available types of such flexibility in vacancy notices.”
The Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn said flexible working should be a “right for all, rather than a perk for the few”.
While Ten Minute Rule Bills rarely become law, Siddiq’s Bill has cross-party support. It is co-sponsored by MPs from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Green Party, SNP, and DUP.
Last week, the government confirmed it is mulling making flexible working a “default option”. A spokesperson said this would include “a range of working arrangements around time, place and hours of work including part-time working, flexi-time or compressed hours”.
The Bill will have its second reading on Friday 19 November where it may be debated and will then be voted on. If successful, the bill will move onto the committee stage, where each clause and any changes will be further debated.
The new legislation has also been well-received in the private sector. Jamie Mackenzie, director at Sodexo Engage said: “In recent years the demand for flexible working has gained momentum, and the experiences we have faced during the pandemic have only further illustrated the benefits of such a way of working.
“Following the pandemic, flexible working is no longer a nice to have. Employers need to be prepared to implement flexible working practices to suit a variety of lifestyles in a way that benefit both business and indivdual.”