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Letter: Flexible working can now be exposed for what it is

The delay in legislation to create a right to flexible working is to be welcomed (“Tories shelve flexible working plans”, Report, April 2).

This will give more time for this movement to be exposed for what it is, an opportunistic attempt to secure four (or even three) day working by stealth.

This movement is being driven by an alliance of self-interested employees, unions, labour politicians, academics, journalists and technology providers. It is the biggest scam to be perpetrated on the economy since the heyday of the print unions and fictitious employees on the payroll.

While there are regular vague claims of a positive impact on workforce morale and retention etc, so far the proponents have avoided measuring the impact on costs, productivity and organisational cohesion.

The biggest elephant in the room is the catastrophic impact working from home has had on customer service standards across both the public and private sectors. The evidence for this is clear from complaints about online teaching, online GP consultations, delays in visa processing etc. Meanwhile, the press demonises those managers who actually dare to request employees turn up for work.

Look around you any day of the week and you will see coffee shops, gyms and parks full of those who are “working from home”.

Coming soon will be a raft of claims to subsidise home energy costs, closely followed by employees claiming they are being discriminated against for development and promotion opportunities because they are working from home. It is no wonder we are a low productivity economy.

Roy A Massey
London NW1, UK

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