People who work for an employer should not be forced to fit all other aspects of their lives around their employment and should not be required to put paid work before all the other aspects that give their lives meaning.
We need to restore the balance between paid and unpaid work, so that important activities and responsibilities can be given the time and attention they need. People who work for an employer should not be forced to fit all other aspects of their lives around their employment and should not be required to put paid work before all the other aspects that give their lives meaning.
Caring for children and older relatives, and contributing to community life, are not usually paid, but are more important for personal and societal wellbeing than many paid employments. Creative activity and looking after one’s physical and mental health also need to be given space in our lives. Flexibility can also reduce the stress of commuting through working from home or choosing to travel at a time that suits you best.
All employees, both full and part time, will have the right to request flexible working. What constitutes “flexible working” will be defined by the employee, according to the needs of their job and their other responsibilities and activities.
An employer can refuse an application for flexible working only for a well-defined and clearly justified business or operational reason, which must be explained clearly and in writing to the employee. The employee can appeal any such refusal to the Workplace Relations Commission and as with complaints under equality legislation, workers will be protected from victimisation.
Flexible working may be requested for a defined period, or an indefinite period. The employee will retain the right to return at any time (on giving reasonable notice to the employer) to the previous, non-flexible working pattern if they so desire.
All new posts should be advertised as available for flexible working, unless a good business or operational reason to the contrary can be given.
Positive action will be taken to encourage the uptake of flexible working arrangements, especially at senior levels within organisations, and to ensure that uptake is balanced across genders.