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Men twice as likely to be allowed flexible - but still take more sickies

Posted on from Changeboard

Despite being more willing to work overtime, women are afforded less flexibility in the workplace. Factor in that men are more likely to pull a sickie, are women getting a raw deal from employers?

New research has revealed that men are more likely to be given the luxury of flexibility, but are twice as likely to fake illness to skip work. 

A survey conducted by Powwownow, found that on average, men work an average of six flexible hours a week, compared to just three for women. 

Less than half of female respondents (47%) are permitted to work flexibly during an average week, while two thirds of men are afforded this workplace perk.

Jason Downes, managing director of Powwownow said: “It’s quite astonishing that men are granted twice as much flexibility in the workplace than women, especially as the flexible working law allowing employers to request flexible hours came into force two years ago.”

As well as the added benefits of flexibility, men are also rewarded more for working overtime, as 55% are paid extra for working outside their contracted hours, compared to 33% of women. 

When asked to work overtime, 35% of male respondents said they would be ‘angry’ or ‘frustrated’, whereas 56% of women expressed a positive reaction such as ‘motivated’ or ‘confident’.

Despite their better deal, men are more likely to fake illness, with a third admitting they take at least one or more day off a year without good reason. Just 20% of women admitted the same discretion.

Downes commented: “From the research it is clear that attitudes towards men and women in the workplace, as well as general approaches to flexible working, still leave a lot of room for improvement; employers need to take urgent action to address this imbalance.

“If businesses want to attract skilled talent to their workforce, these are the types of approaches that need to change. Without change, people will be reluctant to join an outdated workplace and businesses will miss out on the next generation of talent required to drive the economy forward.”

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