As a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, I am eager to share their campaign to make flexible working a right from day one of employment.
Current remote working has forced us all to work more flexibly. But what happens when we finally emerge from lockdown? My experience in HR has taught me that it is essential to have a thorough dialogue with employees wishing to request flexible working. It allows a greater understanding of the individual’s circumstances and needs and an ability to explore together what arrangements can be mutually beneficial. It may also highlight a requirement for other interventions which can be signposted or set up such as help with well-being or practical issues. My personal opinion is that the opportunity for flexible working gives the employee a feeling of control and empowerment and improves productivity.
The CIPD reports:
“There is disparity in flexible working practices and generally those in lower paid, more manual occupations often don't have access to the same flexible working opportunities as those in higher paid, managerial professions.
The CIPD’s Flex From 1st campaign aims to make access to flexible working arrangements more equal.
While COVID-19 has driven an increase in remote working, 46% of UK employees still do not have flexible working – whether that be remote working, flexi-time, job shares, compressed hours, part-time working or other flexible working arrangements – in their current role, finds CIPD research. And those without access to flexible working are around twice as likely to be dissatisfied in their job, compared to those who do.
CIPD research has clearly identified the benefits of flexible working arrangements for employers and employees: from improved wellbeing and work–life balance to greater productivity.
The CIPD’s Flex From 1st campaign is encouraging employers to support flexible working for all and the right to request flexible working from day-one of employment. And we’re calling for a change to UK law to make flexible working requests a day-one right for all employees. At present, UK law states that employees can only request to work flexibly after 26 weeks of employment, with a limit of one request per 12-months. This needs to change.”