The STUC will campaign for a legal right to flexible working and will support affiliate trade unions to challenge unreasonable and discriminatory management practices.
Seconding the motion from the teaching union NASUWT, UNISON’s Maggie Cook told delegates that flexible working, when handled well, can enhance workers’ quality of life and lead to a happier and more productive workforce.
She said that her own local authority had initially encouraged flexible working but it wasn’t managed well, and as a result more and more applications were being turned down.
However, with budget cuts beginning to bite, flexible working is back on the agenda and in services that refused before even to consider it.
“We welcome the change in legislation to broaden the request to work flexibly to all employees regardless of gender, caring responsibilities or health reasons.
“However we need to campaign to secure the right to flexible working NOT just the right to request it.”
Maggie called on affiliate trade unions to learn from each other by sharing their experience of best practice in this area.