Prospect meet minister to discuss future of flexible working

30 September 2021

Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy met with business minister Paul Scully this week to make the case for a comprehensive approach to flexible working as the country recovers from the pandemic.

The government have recently launched a consultation on flexible working, including a proposal to give all workers the right to request flexible working from day one of a contract, and while Clancy welcomed that action was being taken he also made the case for a broader approach to this issue.

The key, he argued, was to focus not just on enabling workers to request flexibility, but on improving the experience of flexible working and ensuring that flexibility is seen as something that works for employers and workers alike.

As part of this Clancy drew the minister’s attention to Prospect’s campaign for a Right to Disconnect, making the case that with an increase in flexible working was more vital than ever that workers are able to switch off from work. The Minister agreed to continue the dialogue with Prospect on this area, especially as more evidence emerges of the consequences of shifts in working patterns.

Clancy made the point that the coming months could be extremely challenging as businesses make a series of decisions they have deferred during the pandemic, on everything from staffing levels to their office space, and that it is essential that the voice of workers is heard in this period and that government remind employers of the importance of long-term decision-making.

Finally Prospect drew the minister’ attention to some of the other emerging challenges in the world of work, from the rise in surveillance technology to issues are the use of worker data.

Speaking after the meeting Mike Clancy said:

“As we emerge from the shadow of the pandemic it is vitally important that we act to reshape the world of work into one where workers have more agency and more voice in the workplace.

“Today’s meeting was constructive and I am hopeful that our campaigning on these issues is having an effect on government thinking.

“I am never afraid to speak truth to power on behalf on members and that is what this union will continue to do as we fight for better deal for workers in the coming years.”

Future of work, technology and data

Campaigning for better work for all in the new normal