Many young parents holding low-paid roles in the retail sector who ask for flexible work arrangements are punished with reduced hours, unsociable shifts or even redundancy.
According to new data from workers union the TUC, workers in retail and hospitality roles are unaware of their legal right to unpaid parental leave, with many taking sick leave or holiday to cover child care.
Others stated they were prevented from leaving work when an emergency relating to their children arose, and two out of five men surveyed said they felt “stigmatised” because of needing flexible hours.
“Many parents fear losing shifts, taking unpaid leave or being viewed badly at work if they need time off to look after their kids, and it is shocking that some mums and dads are being stopped from taking their children to hospital when they are sick,” TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said.
“All workers should be given notice of their shifts at least one month in advance. Everyone at work should get the same parents’ rights from day one, and everyone should be given written information about these rights.”
Equality and Human Rights Commission executive director Ben Wilson adeed: “We must radically overhaul our culture and make flexible working the norm.