New legislation comes into effect in the U.K. tomorrow, which gives all workers the right to ask their employers for flexible working hours. According to employment relations minister Jo Swainson (reported in The Independent on Sunday) the changes will boost the economy because productivity will rise with a happier, more motivated workforce. It may also cut the incidence of ‘presenteeism’.
The report goes on to acknowledge that not all sectors are appropriate for the legislation, citing shop work as one. And another is, of course, schools. Where so much depends on the simple physical coincidence of bodies in a room, the scope for flexibility is clearly limited.
However, I wonder whether there is nonetheless more flexibility in the system than might at first appear. The most obvious example of this is the fact that teachers do have non-contact time – and as I have seen in – ahem! –…
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