6th December 2022

The Government has published its response to its consultation on making flexible work the default. 16 organisations have come together to voice their concerns that the measures don't go far enough:

As part of its 2019 election manifesto, the Conservative Party committed to consulting on making flexible work the default. We welcome today’s announcements, but they are simply not enough. The Government’s consultation response will not achieve its 2019 manifesto commitment, so it urgently needs to change course.

Mums, dads, disabled people, carers, those with Long Covid and older workers need flexibility in order to get into work, stay and progress. At the moment, those who need flexibility to work are forced to ask in the recruitment process. We know many don’t due to justified fears of discrimination.  The change the Government is proposing will not fix this, and does not require employers to think about how to design flexibility into their roles.

To truly meet their manifesto commitment, the Government must require employers to include the possible flexible working options in job adverts. This is a small, simple change that would make a huge difference to workers, and would unlock billions of pounds of activity in our economy, tackle labour shortages, and support the levelling up agenda.


Jemima Olchawski, Chief Executive, Fawcett Society

Kudsia Batool, Head of Equality and Strategy, TUC

Melissa Green, General Secretary, Women’s Institute

Justine Roberts CBE, CEO and Founder, Mumsnet 

Fazilet Hadi, Head of Policy, Disability Rights UK

Stuart Rogers, Acting Chief Executive, Independent Age

Anna Whitehouse, CEO and Founder, Mother Pukka

Joeli Brearley, CEO and Founder, Pregnant Then Screwed

Claire Reindorp, CEO, Young Women’s Trust

Adrienne Burgess, Joint CEO and Head of Research, Fatherhood Institute

Victoria Benson, CEO, Gingerbread

Polina Sparks, Long Covid Support

Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, Director of the UK Women’s Budget Group

Age UK, Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director

Celia Hensman, Co-Founding Director, The Disability Policy Centre

Catherine Hale, Head of Astriid Consulting