Cable urges flexible work support

Vince CableBig businesses must help push through flexible working laws by countering claims the Government is imposing politically-correct burdens on bosses, Vince Cable has said.
The Business Secretary said ministers alone could not be seen to dictate the changes as he welcomed the creation of a panel from leading UK firms to push forward the issue.
Plans to allow new parents to split leave between them were attacked by the British Chambers of Commerce for ushering in "fiendish complexity and huge uncertainty for employers".
The Government also wants to expand the right to request flexible working to all employees, not just those with children under the age of 17.

Mr Cable said he knew the proposals faced a rough ride from some quarters - despite his own feedback from companies that the changes were "something they are very comfortable with".

"We are being attacked by corners of the media who say this is the 'politically-correct brigade' imposing terrible costs on business and it's awful and it must be stopped," he said.

"There's no point the Deputy Prime Minister and I lecturing and saying 'you must do it'. The only sensible answer is to say 'good businesses do it, and like it because it's helpful to them'. That's why you're critical to winning that argument."

He was speaking alongside Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the launch of the group, set up by Lloyds Banking Group chairman Sir Win Bischoff.

Sir Win said the 17 well-known businesses taking part had benefited from introducing flexible employment - citing a reduction of desk numbers in bank branches to reflect more home working.

Mr Clegg said more flexibility was "the key to business growth" but conceded that it was hard for politicians to make the case.

More stories

Read Full Story