The TUC has a new report out talking about workers' rights to such tings as parental leave, flexible working and so on. The correct response to this being, well, OK, could you please make up your minds?
Bosses are punishing parents for taking their sick children to hospital, according to a “shocking” TUC study that finds many low-paid workers are disciplined for taking time off for childcare.
One mother who works in retail said: “My baby stopped breathing and I had to go to hospital – I got threatened with a disciplinary.”
It turns out that "a disciplinary" might be along the lines of "Why didn't you come to work?" "Sick kid" "Hmm, seems like a good reason."
One such recommendation is that employment rights over such things as parental leave should be granted from day 1 on the job. Which is, of course, going to make employers ever so hesitant to take someone on, isn't it? As we actually know from multiple studies of different labour market structures, the more the associated costs of hiring are the less people are willing to take a chance on hiring.
But the one that really boggles our minds is the insistence on both greater flexibility of working hours and also an insistence that hours should be agreed and notified one month in advance. We think that being able to take the day off to take a kid to hospital is just fine, of course, but can't quite see how that is compatible with an insistence upon at least a 30 day in advance commitment to turning up to work.
That is, we either do have flexibility or we have advance certainty but we can't have both, can we?
Time for some minds to be made up here.