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The UK's national charity for working parents and carers

About the group

The Flexible Working APPG brings together parliamentarians from across the political spectrum, business leaders and other organisations, all of whom are committed to improving access to flexible and family-friendly working.  

The APPG provides a constructive space for policymakers and other stakeholders to debate key issues with the aim of advancing positive policy change that will make flexibility commonplace across all industries. It enables collaboration to develop practical solutions, promote flexible working as a viable solution, and to strengthen the case to put forward to Central Government to make sure flexible working, works for everyone. 

Co-Chairs

Official portrait of Tulip Siddiq from Creative Commons
Tulip Siddiq, official portrait, CC by 3.0

Tulip Siddiq MP – Co-Chair

Tulip Siddiq is the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, and has been an MP since 7 May 2015. She currently undertakes the role of Shadow Minister (Treasury).

“I have long championed flexible working, including bringing in a Bill to improve employment rights as well as supporting Yasmin Qureshi’s Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act which comes into effect this year. This initiative is a crucial step towards promoting the benefits of flexible working and making positive steps towards removing barriers that parents and carers face in the workplace. I look forward to working collaboratively with my fellow officers and supporters of the APPG, including our secretariat Working Families, to drive positive change and champion flexible working practices that will benefit the workforce in my constituency, as well as across the UK.”

Maria Miller, official portrait, CC by 3.0
Maria Miller, official portrait, CC by 3.0

Rt Hon Dame Maria Miller – Co-Chair

The Rt Hon Dame Maria Miller is the Conservative MP for Basingstoke, and has been an MP since 5 May 2005.

“Parents across the country are struggling to balance family life with workplace pressures. I am delighted to Chair the APPG that will look at and support flagship policies on flexible working and shared parental leave to make sure workplaces across the UK are fit for the family of the 21st century.”

Why is it needed?

Despite the pandemic increasing the popularity of flexible working and shifting the way we work, only 3 in 10 UK parents would be likely to apply for a job that did not list flexible working options in the advert. Those with caring responsibilities are often forced to take lower paid roles to secure the flexibility they need, resulting in a raft of wasted talent, as well as impacting on family finances. 

Flexible working is currently an underused tool that could enable more people, currently locked out of the labour market due to caring responsibilities, to enter employment. It has the potential to allow men to take a more active caring role and facilitate women to progress in their careers, helping to close the gender pay gap. It can help struggling families manage the daily juggle of childcare, and carers take care of loved ones. It can help families keep their heads above water when they’re drowning in increased living-costs. And, it has significant benefits for business, helping to create a more engaged, more productive workforce. 

Although incoming legislation will give employees the right to request flexible working from day one in a job, there are many parents and carers who will still miss out on the benefits of flex, such as those on zero-hours contracts or employees who have requests denied. Unfortunately, the current flexible working landscape is imbalanced, with people on lower income twice as likely to have informal requests for flex refused. Only through policy change will the playing field be levelled, to give equal access to flex for everyone who needs it.