Peter Cheese, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, says it would be “very challenging” to make Prospect’s proposal work. “The big question is how do we create good ways of working that are good for people’s wellbeing and how you improve people’s work-life balance,” he adds.
It’s a way of life that the self employed and small business owners have felt they have had to either embrace or ‘put up with’ in order to make their business work, or in the past year, keep going.
Again, the decisions made for employees could, and perhaps should have ramifications for the self employed as many look at the legacy of the global pandemic. Many have had their mental health quite simply destroyed, others like me have worked all hours, as and when, because I wasn’t in the cross hares of the Government financial support.
At the time of writing, the official advice across the UK currently is for people to work at home wherever possible. To preserve wellbeing, the Mental Health Foundation recommends that bosses stay in daily contact with employees. However, it says they must “respect the boundaries people have between work and home life”.
“We recognise this has been an exceptionally difficult year, and that the pandemic has had an impact on mental health,” a Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson says. “We are wholeheartedly committed to improving and upholding workers’ rights and this is why we will fulfil a [Conservative Party] manifesto commitment to consult on making flexible work the default.”
The government’s Flexible Working Taskforce is investigating how “hybrid” work – split between home and the office/formal workplace – will operate after the pandemic and this includes looking at the right to disconnect.