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          A survey has revealed that many workers feel colleagues with families appear to get preferential treatment by bosses.

          The YouGov and Croner survey looked into the thoughts and opinions of 1,175 working adults and found that a large number felt colleagues with families got treated better than they did.

          The survey does appear to suggest that many companies could face problems with disjointed workforces with colleagues who share meeting rooms, rooms and offices not singing off the same hymn sheet.

          Regulations state that workers with children have the right to ask for flexible work patterns while this is denied to people who no longer have, or have never had, family commitments.

          Respondents were asked whether they felt their company put the needs of employees with children or families over the rest of the work force and 18 per cent of the 45 to 54 year old age group agreed.

          Nine per cent of that group strongly agreed.

          There was also found to be a shift in agreement based on a company’s region.

          Those living in Scotland were far less likely to agree with that statement with just 14 per cent agreeing, or strongly agreeing.

          This is compared to Yorkshire and the Humber, where 32 per cent said they agreed or strongly agreed.

          Carol Smith, senior employment consultant at Croner, said: “There is no doubt that flexible working for people with families is a good thing. The government has done much to improve and modernise UK legislation so that more people can work flexibly to improve their work-life balance.

          “However it is not good news for the UK’s older workers after the Government shelved plans to extend flexible working.”

          There had been plans announced to extend flexible working to all workers but according to the Department for Business Innovation & Skills.

          However, the government has since cancelled all plans to extend flexible working to employees of all ages.

          Ms Smith concluded: “In spite of the absence of extended flexible working legislation, Croner recommends that employers should have flexible working policies that do not disadvantage other groups within their workforce.”

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