A BUSINESS minister's suggestion that people should be allowed to work flexible hours to stop rush-hour congestion has been criticised as "nonsensical".
The Forum of Private Business (FPB) attacked Lib Dem business minister Jo Swinson’s comments to House of Commons Business Committee on women’s workplace rights.
Staff with at least six months service will be allowed to request flexible working from next year, and Ms Swinson suggested extending it to people who want to avoid the rush hour.
But the FPB’s head of policy Alex Jackman said: “Small businesses shouldn’t have administrative complexities thrust upon them because our roads are congested and often poorly maintained, the rail network is bursting at the seams and lacking adequate rolling stock. It’s just nonsensical.
“The notion that workers should be allowed to pick and choose their hours because of successive governments’ failure to deliver credible improvements to the country’s transport infrastructure is ridiculous.
“If flexible working works for businesses they will do it themselves. What they don’t need is unworkable suggestions from ministers made on the hoof. Just imagine what this would mean on the ground for most businesses.
“Longer opening hours would mean higher office running costs – will the Government pay for the increase in energy bills?
“Then there’s key holder responsibility issues, monitoring time keeping would be a job in itself, and crucial to any business is the ability of employees to communicate with ease and consistency.
“Wildly different working hours would also make business-to-business communication much more difficult.”