The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is writing to employers, asking them to allow staff to have flexible working hours on 23rd June.


The upcoming EU referendum vote has been a topic of conversation amongst colleagues, family members, friends and even strangers. It has been causing a divide throughout and as one of the biggest decisions for the country, the voters play a very important role. As a result, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is writing to 190,000 companies and requesting them to allow staff part of the polling day off.

This is the latest intervention by the CBI in the referendum campaign, according to Sky News, and critics argue that this is to encourage more employees to vote remain. The CBI has argued that the UK’s economic future would be at risk if we left the EU and has informed employees about the implications of Brexit; thus has caused an uproar from Leave campaigners.

Carolyn Fairbairn, the organisation’s director general, said: 'The referendum on 23 June will be the biggest decision that most of us will get to vote on in our lifetimes. The decision on whether we choose to stay in the EU will have serious implications for our economy, jobs and the opportunities for young people in the years ahead and it’s important everyone has their say.'

She added that companies have “an important role to play” and need to “do what they can to help their staff” so they can vote. 'That might mean showing greater flexibility on when they expect employees to arrive at work and leave for the day, or perhaps see how shift patterns can be adjusted as a one-off.'

It appears some companies have already taken this on board. Zoopla Property Group (ZPG) has told its 700 employees that they can work a half-day. Alex Chesterman, founder and chief executive told Sky News: 'We believe the EU referendum is one of the most important decisions in recent memory that we each have a say in and one which will likely affect all of us for many years to come. Given the importance of this matter, we are keen to ensure that everyone at ZPG who wishes to exercise their right to vote has the time to do so.

'That’s why we are allowing our staff of over 700 people, if they wish, to take a half day off on this day to ensure they can visit their respective polling station.'