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Whitehall needs to butt out of businesses’ rules on home working

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Good news, British workers! If you want to work flexibly, by adjusting your hours or working from home, then a consultation document due to be published on Thursday may give you the right to request it from day one. If an employer dares deny it, they’ll need to explain why and suggest an alternative working arrangement. Loathe rush hour? Avoid it! Your colleagues? Ditto!

Over the course of coronavirus, the idea that jobs are only worth doing if they’re convenient to workers has gained popularity. Many now piously insist that employee wellbeing should be placed at the core of company operations and unscrupulous employers kept in check by our benevolent state. There is no alternative recourse, apparently, because exploited employees are incapable of voting with their feet by working for businesses that adopt the practices they prefer and resigning if they don’t.

Earlier this month a woman was awarded £180,000 after her employer, the estate agent Manors, refused her request to work four days a week and leave the office at 5pm (an hour early) to collect her child from nursery. Alice Thompson was earning £120,000 a year. It is inconceivable that she could not........

© City A.M.

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