The Women’s Equality Party notes that despite existing legislation in the area, the flexibility in the workplace that is essential for carers to be able to fully contribute to the working environment and to the economy is sadly lacking.
In negotiations around the granting of flexible working arrangements, the balance of power, in practice, is still heavily weighted towards the employer.
WE reaffirm our commitment to making the workplace work for carers.
WE applaud the Scottish Government for its 2015 commitment to remove Employment Tribunal fees, and urge all other Governments and Assemblies in the UK to do the same as a matter of urgency.
WE call for the penalties that Employment tribunals can impose on employers who fail to deal with requests for flexible working in a reasonable manner to be set at a level which acts as an effective deterrent.
WE call for strengthening of workplace legislation to ensure that a carer’s request for flexible working is met whenever it is reasonably practicable.
WE call on employers to give employees more control over their pattern of working hours. There is scope for more dynamic flexible working options in the labour market and WE call on both employers and legislatures to put in place more opportunities for flexible, part-time, and job sharing work in general. Flexibility should be the norm, not the exception.
WE encourage ACAS to update their employer training and employee awareness programs in the area of flexible working.