Flexible conditions working for UK firms

Businesses and staff are reaping the benefits of flexible working systems, according to new research.

As the government looks set to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees, new findings from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) show that only 4 per cent of employers have experienced problems with complying with the current framework, ten years on from its initial introduction.

Some 96 per cent of employers provide some form of flexible conditions to at least some employers, and the survey reveals that seven out of ten employers say that it supports employee retention, motivation and engagement.

Further statistics from the study of 1,000 employers and 2,000 employers shows that nearly two thirds of those employers questioned believe the practice supports recruitment activities, while half say it has a ‘positive impact’ on reducing absence.

Following the findings, the CIPD is now calling on the government to go ahead with the expected extension.

Ben Willmott, CIPD head of public policy, comments, ‘The CIPD 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 some businesses.

‘Similar concerns were raised over a decade ago about the plans to introduce the statutory right to request flexible working for parents. Those fears have proved unfounded – regardless of size of organisation.’

The study also finds that small employers are least likely to report difficulties with the right to request legislation. Those working for small companies are more likely to be working in a flexible way (78 per cent) than those in medium (67 per cent) or large (29 per cent).

The current right to request flexible working, which covers parents of children aged up to 17, disabled children up to 18 and some carers, was first introduced in 2003.

Related: Why trust and accuracy are the keys to successful flexible working

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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