Working from home revolution! Employees will have right to ask for remote working from the moment they start a new job under proposed new laws

  • Small businesses minister Kevin Hollinrake said it will make employees happier
  • Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said small businesses will struggle getting jobs done
  • Campaigners are also demanding job adverts list the flexible working on offer 
  • Currently workers can demand to work from home after six months in a new job

Millions of employees will have the right to demand working from home on their first day of a new job under laws being drawn up by ministers to improve the work-life balance.

But critics last night said it could be a blow for smaller businesses and starve city centres of commuter trade.

At present, workers can demand to work from home only after six months in a new job.

Small businesses minister Kevin Hollinrake said last night: ‘Giving staff more say over their working pattern makes for happier employees and more productive businesses.’

At present, workers can demand to work from home only after six months in a new job

Small businesses minister Kevin Hollinrake (pictured) said last night: ‘Giving staff more say over their working pattern makes for happier employees and more productive businesses’

But former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: ‘What you end up with if you’re not careful is small businesses finding it difficult to get certain jobs done because people just say “I’m heading off home”.’ 

Campaigners are also demanding job adverts list the flexible working on offer and given the legal right rather than just requesting it.

Trades Union Congress boss Frances O’Grady said: ‘Flexible working should be available to everyone.

‘It’s how we keep mums in work, close the gender pay gap and give dads more time with their kids, and it’s how we keep disabled workers, older workers and carers in their jobs.

‘Allowing working people to ask for flexible working from their first day in a job would be a small step in the right direction, but we’d like the Government to go much further to ensure that flexible work now becomes the norm.’

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith (pictured) said: ‘What you end up with if you’re not careful is small businesses finding it difficult to get certain jobs done because people just say “I’m heading off home”

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