flexible-working-hoursWhen it comes to concerns about fairness on the job, the majority of British workers are unhappy with late working and management pay, but are open minded on flexible working arrangements for parents and support bosses who ban social media access at work, according to a poll commissioned by Middlesex University London.

Nearly seven out of ten workers (66%) believe working late when necessary without extra pay is unfair and around half believe management level wages and positive discrimination – such as quotas for employing a certain number of women and ethnic minorities – are unfair by 53% and 48% respectively. Of the respondents, Londoners were most concerned about positive discrimination, with 58% suggesting it was unfair in comparison to 41% in Scotland.

The poll also found that only one in three people (31%) believe that closing final salary pension schemes are fair.

Workers are far more open minded about flexible working opportunities for parents, with over seven out of ten (74%) seeing it as a fair working practice.

The YouGov Poll was commissioned to coincide with Middlesex University’s Fairness Conference from 21-23 May, where speakers including economics commentator Will Hutton will discuss the issue of fairness in society. His speech on fairness in capitalism opens the event, which also features keynote speeches from human rights champion Bianca Jagger, Lib Dem peer Baroness Sharp of Guildford and Conservative MP John Redwood.

Unfair working practices according to the survey:

  • Working late without extra pay – 66% of workers feel this is unfair
  • Management-level staff being paid much higher wages – 53% of workers feel this is unfair
  • Positive discrimination (i.e. quotas for employing a certain number of, for example, women and ethnic minorities) – 48% of workers feel this is unfair
  • Closing final salary pension schemes – 45% of workers feel these are unfair

Fair working practices:

  • Flexible working arrangements allowed for parents – only 16% feel this is unfair
  • Not being able to access social networking websites at work – only 12% feel this is unfair