14 million want to work flexibly - Palmers Solicitors

14 million want to work flexibly

Millions of people want to work more flexibly but only a tiny percentage of quality jobs advertised offer the potential to do so, recruitment experts have found.

Research carried out by Timewise, a specialist in recruiting to flexible job roles, suggests that 14.1 million people in the UK – 46 per cent of UK workers – want or need flexible work.

Yet a Timewise analysis of 3.5 million of job adverts found that just 6.2 per cent of quality roles coming to the market offer salaries of £20,000 per year or more FTE (full time equivalent) together with some degree of flexibility.

Timewise co-chief executive Karen Mattison, who co-authored the research said: “The world of work has experienced a revolution – technology advances and recent legislations have facilitated a huge growth in flexible working, yet this has not been reflected in hiring practices.

“Businesses are missing out, as they consistently fail to realise just how important flexibility is to people looking for a new role.”

The report says: “The good news is that adapting to flexible hiring is easy. Employers simply have to ask themselves: ‘For the best candidate, will I consider flexible working for this role?’ Then, if the answer is ‘yes’, say so in their recruitment advertising. This doesn’t commit an employer to making the role flexible, it just means being open to discussion for the right candidate.”

The research, published on 9 June, was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

While jobs may not be advertised as flexible roles, from April 2014 all employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service have had the right to ask their employer for flexible working. Employers must consider and decide on the request within three months of it being made and must rely on a sound business reason that is permitted in law for rejecting flexible working requests.

Palmers’ employment law specialists can provide expert advice to businesses on their responsibilities around flexible working and assist in reviewing and updating employment policies in relation to this issue. For more information, please contact us.