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BRITAIN risks sliding further into a “two-tier world of work” without legislation to ensure access to flexible working for young people, key workers and those outside London, Labour warned today.
The party’s analysis of Office for National Statistics data revealed that chief executives and people in London are more likely to have worked from home both before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, while younger people and those in north-east England are least likely to have done so.
Labour called for all rights relating to flexible and remote working to be enshrined in law.
The government promised to protect and enhance workers’ rights through the Employment Bill in 2019, but it has failed to deliver on the legislation.
The promised Bill is supposed to make flexible working the default unless employers have a good reason not to allow it.
Shadow employment secretary Andy McDonald said: “The pandemic has lifted the lid on our country’s two-tier world of work. This risks becoming more entrenched without employment law fit for the 21st century.
“It is totally wrong that CEOs and people living in London are far more likely to be able to work flexibly than younger people, key workers and those in the north and Midlands.
“Labour is clear that the cards should not be stacked against you because of where you live, your occupation or your age.
“We desperately need legislation that keeps pace with our changing world of work, with stronger rights for people to work flexibly where possible. The Conservatives promised it — they’ve got to deliver.”
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