A third of younger applicants worried to ask about employers’ flexible working policies

Nearly a third (30%) of 18 to 34-year-olds would be worried to ask about flexible working policies during a job interview, according to a survey commissioned by Direct Line Group.

Almost a quarter (23%) of all 2,003 respondents to the Opinium research, carried out between 7 and 11 September 2018, expressed the same concern.

One in ten (10%) of those in the 18 to 34 age range told the survey they would be worried to ask an organisation what its maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave policy was.

However, nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents said flexible working was quite or very important, and 70% said that paid maternity leave, on top of statutory pay, was important across all age groups and regions in the UK.

When researching an organisation that they would potentially like to work for, one in ten (11%) respondents had searched for information on maternity leave and pay but could not find it.

Only 8% of respondents said they had asked about an employer’s parental leave and pay policy during an interview for a new job, and 12% said that although they did not ask, they did want to. Of those who did not ask, 11% were worried it would send the wrong message to their employer and 8% were worried it would hamper their chances of getting the job.

Among those who did not ask because they were worried about the potential impact, 86% said if companies published the details on their website then they would not be so concerned about asking.

Simon Linares, HR director for Direct Line Group, said: “We encourage our people to bring all of themselves to work and we are very proud of the diverse and inclusive culture this has created.

“That’s why we fully support parental leave transparency. We have designed a set of new policies which offer all our people, whether they be mothers, fathers, grandparents, carers or those looking to pursue a dream or a new challenge, the flexibility and support at work to do the things that matter to them outside of work.”