News

Home workers must not be flexible working’s only winners, says TUC

By on

All workers should be given access to flexible working, not just home workers, the TUC has said, warning that the rise in home working could lead to inequalities.


The Prime Minister has signalled that everyone may return to offices as of 21 June – although many firms are choosing to operate a hybrid working policy, being a mix of office and home.

The union body warns of ‘a new class divide’ between home workers and those who have been working from workplaces and says the expansion of flexible working patterns must include all workers – regardless of their occupation.

The union body warns of ‘a new class divide’ between home workers and those who have been working from workplaces. Photograph: iStock

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s likely that many workers will want to spend more time working from home than before. And it’s vital that employers have positive and constructive discussions with staff and unions about how to make this work.

“But a sole focus on home working rights would create new inequalities for those who cannot easily work from home. All workers need stronger rights to the full range of flexible working options like flexitime, predictable shifts and job shares.”

She said that the Prime Minister must bring forward new rights to flexible working for everyone, regardless of job type.

However, others argue that decisions on home working should be left out of regulations. Speaking on Work From Home Day, 14 May, Professor Len Shackleton, Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “We are going to be seeing more home working in the future than in the past.

“Where this suits both employers and employees, this is good news. However, it is not clear that there is any reason for government to intervene to encourage home working, or to regulate further the conditions under which it takes place.”

He said that home working’s attractiveness varies ‘wildly’ between older workers and younger workers, those with adequate housing and those living in cramped conditions.

“Until more is known about long-term suitability and effectiveness of home working, it would be foolish to rush into imposing new one-size-fits-all regulation.”

NEWS


Textile Worker Istock 922855144 Nikada (002)

UK brands urged to sign new accord to protect garment workers

By Belinda Liversedge on 10 September 2021

Workers’ rights group, Labour Behind the Label is calling on all UK clothing brands to sign a new pact designed to protect garment and textiles factory workers.



Courier Istock 1057704864 Nrqemi MED

Grey fleet workers must be protected on the road, says HSE

By Belinda Liversedge on 08 September 2021

Whether an employee is behind a desk or behind the wheel, employers have a duty to protect their health and safety, HSE has highlighted in updated guidance on work-related road risk.



PPE Supply Istock 1243565651 Drazen MED

Taxpayer to foot £2.9bn bill of ‘useless’ PPE, says Committee

By Belinda Liversedge on 06 September 2021

Vast amounts of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) intended for hospitals is still lying in storage, including £2.9 billion worth of items that are ‘not suitable for use’ in medical settings, a Committee has confirmed.