The government has announced that it will be looking at creating a duty for employers to consider whether a job can be done flexibly, and to make that clear when advertising the role. The announcement was made as part of a package of measures unveiled during the Conservative party conference taking place in the first week of October. No other details are yet available.
There is increasing evidence that although many people want to work flexibly (for a variety of reasons) they face barriers and stigma in some workplaces. Responding to this, politicians have been talking about requiring employers to advertise all jobs as potentially flexible. It remains to be seen whether the current proposals will be that radical, and indeed exactly what form any new “duty” would take. For example, would it be a statutory obligation or merely voluntary? Exactly how any new duty would work in practice in workplaces which are negative about flexible working also remains to be seen. It’s definitely a case of “watch this space”!