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Part-time Employment: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL1131, tabled on 15 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by Timewise The Impact of Covid-19 on Part-Time Employees, published in June; and what steps they are taking to support the creation of jobs with flexible working hours.

Answered on

28 June 2021

We are aware of the report. ONS data shows fewer people working part time (7.8 million, 24% of all in employment) in the three months to April 2021, than in the three months to February 2020 (8.6 million, 26% of all in employment). Further information on full-time and part-time working can be found on the ONS website.

The Government is keen to do more to support flexible working in all its forms. In 2019 the Government committed to consult on making flexible working the default unless employers have good reasons not to. The consultation will be published in due course.

My Hon. Friend the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets has also reconvened the Flexible Working Taskforce – a partnership across business groups, trade unions, charities, and government departments – to help inform the Government’s thinking and support employers as we navigate the impact of Covid-19 on future ways of working. Timewise is a valued member of the Taskforce.

The Taskforce has been asked to help take forward what we have learned through the pandemic about flexible ways of working. In the immediate phase, the Taskforce will consider the essential practical and legal issues associated with a return to a workplace and an increase in hybrid working. The Taskforce will move on to provide wider advice on best practice, so that employers are better able to support all forms of flexible working – whether the flexibility relates to the amount, timing or location of work.