Older employees feel discriminated against by flexible working hoursJun 3, 1:17 pm
London, June 3 (ANI): Almost a third of older workers think that their employers put colleagues with young children first, leading to tensions in the workplace, a new study has revealed.People aged between 45 and 54 think that the flexible working hours given to people with children mean that younger workers receive preferential treatment over everybody else.According to a poll of over 2,000 people by Croner, the workplace information company, the perception can lead to "workplace conflict" and cause a drop in productivity among those who feel badly treated.The poll found that almost a fifth - or 18 percent - of older workers 'agreed' and nine percent 'strongly agreed' that the needs of employees with children are put over the rest of the workforce.Under employment legislation that was introduced in 2003, employees who have children have the statutory right to ask to work flexibly. An estimated 10 million workers can ask their employers to work flexibly if they have a child under the age of 17.But that right is denied to people who no longer have - or who never had - family commitments.Carol Smith, a senior employment consultant at Croner, said that there is "no doubt" that flexible working for people with families is a good thing. She said that the Government has done a lot to improve and modernise UK legislation so that more people can work flexibly to improve their work-life balance.However, Smith was critical that the Coalition has apparently delayed plans to extend flexible working to all age groups.She warned that this "is not good news for the UK's older workers".Plans to extend flexible working to all workers were announced in May 2011 when the Government launched a consultation on modern workplaces. However, the Government appeared to have shelved it plans, Ms Smith said.She called on employers to introduce flexible working policies that "do not disadvantage" certain age groups within their workforce."This will not only help to avoid possible workplace conflict but improve employee relations, help with recruitment and retaining staff and almost certainly improve productivity," the Telegraph quoted Smith as saying."Organisations should begin by carefully considering what they want to achieve. They should review how work is currently organised and what flexible options are available that could make this change. "It is important to consult employees and customers on the planned changes to ensure they understand that there will be a possible change to people's working patterns," she added. (ANI)
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