Almost a third of older workers think that their employers put colleagues with young children first, leading to tensions in the workplace, new research shows.
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. The perception can lead to “workplace conflict” and cause a drop in productivity among those who feel badly treated, according to a poll of over 2,000 people by Croner, the workplace information company. The poll found that almost a fifth – or 18 per cent – of older workers ‘agreed’ and nine per cent ‘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.