Week 5: Women and SET – the legal framework

The Equal Opportunities Commission is working to eliminate sex discrimination in Britain today. It is (or should be) the first point of reference for anyone looking for information on gender equality in the UK.


  1. Am I entitled to apply for flexible working?
    If you have a child who is under 6 or a disabled child under the age of 18 and have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks you are entitled to request flexible working arrangements from your employer.
  2. Is it legal to apply for time off to look after a dependant?
    Each parent can apply to take up to 13 weeks of parental leave up until the child’s 5th birthday. You are also entitled to take time off to care for other dependants.
  3. Can my employer make me do overtime if I don’t want to?
    Under the Working Time Regulations you can’t be forced to work more than 48 hours a week.  Well, unless you’ve signed an opt-out as part of your contract anyway….
  4. If I want to apply for a job share, do I have to find someone else to share the job with?
    Once your employer has agreed that your job is suitable for job-share then it is their responsibility to find an appropriate partner for you to work with.
  5. As a part time worker would I be entitled to the same career development and training opportunities as a full time employee?
    Yes, Regulations make it unlawful for a part-time worker to be treated less favourably than comparable full-time workers.
  6. Can an employer ask me about childcare arrangements in an interview?
    Although an employer is entitled to ask questions to ensure that you are able to carry out the requirements of the job this should be in a gender neutral way and all candidates should be asked the same questions.

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