Fountain penWelcome to our WorkFlex Blog where we explore news, policy developments and ideas relating to how parents, carers and their employers can best achieve a good work-life balance.

In the interests of open debate and the exploration of new ideas, any  views expressed here may not necessarily represent the formal view of Working Families.

  • Making a successful flexible working request

    22 May 2018

    If you’re an employee who has worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks, then your employer has a legal duty to reasonably consider your flexible working request.

  • The GEO’s recruitment process focussed on my skills, so I did not have to explain or justify the ‘gap’ in my CV

    21 Mar 2018

    Vivien Kelly, Communications Lead at the Government Equalities Office, writes about being a returner and about the GEO sponsored Best Returner Programme Award.

  • Where next for Shared Parental Leave: reflections on ‘Fathers and the Workplace’ recommendations

    20 Mar 2018

    Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee today released its report from the Fathers and the Workplace inquiry which highlights the difficulties fathers have in balancing their careers and childcare responsibilities. Dr Emma Banister from Alliance Manchester Business School and Dr Ben Kerrane from Lancaster University Management School give us their thoughts on the report’s recommendations.

  • Time to start being a bit more useful

    20 Mar 2018

    The first month of my sabbatical was from the middle of June to the start of the school holidays.  I thought that Nicola (my wife) probably wouldn't be keen on having me hanging around the house, so I asked Sarah Jackson if I could come and help for a month at the Working Families offices in Camberwell. She very kindly said yes.  It was a chance for me to see how Working Families operates, how the whole team works together and what an amazing service it provides with relatively meagre resources.  It was the highlight of the year.

  • Time to fix the fathers?

    20 Mar 2018

    Welcome to the Mummy Track, guys.  Our Modern Families Index 2018 shows very little difference between men and women - fathers are making the same career compromises as mothers do, which we have been agonising over for decades.  Men and women turn down promotions, say no to a new job - steer their career into the sidings and idle the engine for a few years.

  • Harassment at work – where do you claim?

    19 Mar 2018

    Sexual harassment – which usually consists of unwanted conduct of a sexual nature – has been much in the news recently. However, harassment can be much wider – it is any unwanted conduct that creates a humiliating, intimidating, degrading, offensive or hostile environment for the person concerned, whether the perpetrator intends to create that impact or not.

  • Three ideas to make this country a better place, for women, for men, and even for business

    8 Mar 2018

    Sybille Raphael, Head of Legal Advice at Working Families, spoke to employment lawyers about Working Families, the gender pay gap, and pressing for progress on International Women’s Day.

  • Shared Parental Leave: opportunities, barriers & #sharethejoy campaign

    12 Feb 2018

    As the Government launches a new drive to raise awareness about Shared Parental Leave, Dr Emma Banister of University of Manchester looks at the issues dogging the flagship gender equality initiative 

  • A Life of My Own – Janet Mearns talks to Claire Tomalin

    30 Jan 2018

    Working Families' Janet Mearns talks to Claire Tomalin about her recently published autobiography, A Life of My Own', chronicling her life and the experience of being a working mother in the sixties and seventies when one of your children is disabled.

  • Grievances do more harm than good

    24 Jan 2018

    Let’s start with the assumption that early resolution of workplace issues is the best outcome for you and your employer, and legal action is the worst. The purpose of a grievance process is meant to be to resolve concerns, problems or complaints raised by employees. In practice, we find this is often not the case. Unfortunately, a grievance by its nature is usually a criticism of your employer. It is therefore often seen by the employer, rightly or wrongly, as ‘disloyal’ or an ‘attack’ on individuals or the business.