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Employers 'have embraced flexible working'
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Only a tiny minority (four per cent) of employers have had difficulties complying with the right to request flexible working since it was introduced nearly a decade ago, it has been reported.
Research conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that with 96 per cent of employers providing flexible working arrangement to at least some employees, relatively few problems have been experienced.
Almost two-thirds of employers believe flexible working supports their recruitment activities and half think it has a positive impact on reducing absence as well as on boosting productivity.
The findings come as the government looks set to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees in the UK.
People working for micro-and small firms are more likely to be working flexibly in some way (90 per cent and 78 per cent respectively) than those working for medium (67 per cent) or large-sized employers (29 per cent).
The use of part-time working (32 per cent), flexitime (25 per cent), home working (20 per cent) and mobile working (14 per cent) is comparatively common, the CIPD found.
But other types of flexible working are hardly used, with just five per cent working compressed hours, two per cent using term-time working, and one per cent job sharing.
Ben Willmott, CIPD's head of public policy, said his organisation has long been calling for the extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees, despite claims from some quarters that the legislation is burdensome for businesses.
"Similar concerns were raised over a decade ago about the plans to introduce the statutory right to request flexible working for parents," he stated.
"Those fears have proved unfounded, regardless of size of organisation."
Mr Willmott said the argument for extending the right to request to all employees is based on a broad business case.
"More than seven out of ten employers report that flexible working supports employee retention, motivation and engagement," he added.
"Almost two-thirds of employers believe flexible working supports their recruitment activities, while half believe it has a positive impact on reducing absence as well as on boosting productivity."
Mr Willmott said that from the employee perspective, flexible working is linked to higher levels of employee engagement and wellbeing.
"Our report finds that employees satisfied with their work-life balance are more likely to be engaged and less likely to say they are under excessive pressure," he added.
"This report shows that a significant proportion of those employees who don’t work flexibly would want to do so, particularly those below management level."
Posted by John Lynes
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