UK companies lag behind their European counterparts in offering flexible working, a report has suggested.
This has left many people stuck in a culture of fixed hours and office "presenteeism", the Equal Opportunities Commission study says.
Of 8,000 firms quizzed, 90% in mainland Europe made flexitime available, compared with 48% in the UK.
Mr Cameron, who is helping to launch the report, says all parents should have the right to request flexible working.
And he says that the Conservatives would extend the legal right for flexible working to all those who had children under 18.
Cameron is swiftly revealing himself to be a controlling, centralist fuckwit of the very first order. Apart from anything else, the whole thing is so fucking hypocritical.
Look, government agencies are one of the very worst for encouraging the culture of "presenteeism"; if flexible working is such a very good idea then, instead of legislating, how about leading by example? I suggest that if this is such a wonderful idea, the state should introduce flexible working throughout all departments.
At the end of the year, it should publish its productivity and budget figures in detail; then businesses will truly be able to judge whether flexible working really is the way forward or not. How fair is that?
For what it's worth, I think that flexible working will become more prevalent, simply because technology is making it more practicable. Broadband and PDF technology means that I can now send documents to printers at the other end of the country (where once the unreliable method of snail-mailing a Zip disk—which usually added several days to a print run—was the only way this could be achieved). My web work, conducted on my own dedicated servers, can be addressed from anywhere with an internet connection.
Using my Macbook and Skype (or iChat), I can even video-call people—I recently talked to some clients in Belgium about a project which is just like something out of bloody Star Trek. It's just very cool. Chat programmes also make instant communication absolutely easy (I use the Open Source Adium, which can handle my GoogleChat and MSN all through the one application). And, of course, mobile phones ensure that we are all available at almost any time.
But it should be up to the businesses concerned; if flexible working is, indeed, so utterly fucking wonderful, would not many of our businesses have embraced it already? For many small businesses, particularly, it simply isn't possible to have staff coming in at any old time; it just won't work.
As I have stated: let the government lead by example, not legislate to make businesses obey laws that the government will simply exempt itself from. And, I'm afraid, this is simply another example of Cameron moving towards socialism lite.
Where o where are our advocates of libertarianism?