5 September 2017 - Janet Bird
The world of retail can be far from family friendly for workers, new data suggests.
Research undertaken by workers union the TUC has revealed that many young parents holding low-paid jobs in the retail sector are punished with fewer hours, unsociable shifts and even redundancy if they ask for flexible work arrangements.
The TUC found many workers in retail, and also in the hospitality sector, were unaware they were entitled to unpaid parental leave, resorting instead to taking sick leave or holiday time to cover child care.
Some had even been prevented from leaving work to deal with emergencies involving their children.
Two out five men who required flexible working to meet their family commitments said they felt stigmatised as a result, and many parents feared losing shifts or being viewed badly at work if they had to take time off to look after their children.
The TUC said all workers should be given notice of their shifts at least a month in advance; should receive the same parents' rights and should have confirmation in writing of these rights.