Despite recognising the benefits of flexible working, most companies are stubbornly sticking to normal hours which make the UK working week the longest in Europe, according to a survey.
Research carried out by job agency Elizabeth Hunt Recruitment on 450 organisations found that 40 per cent of businesses said they recognised the benefits of flexible working in recruiting and retaining staff.
More than 40 per cent also said flexible working had a positive effect on their working culture and 34 per cent that it positively affected company reputation and image. However, over 60 per cent of companies said they were unlikely to or definitely not going to offer flexible working.
Since April 2003 parents of children aged under six, or of disabled children aged under 18, have the right to apply to work flexibly providing they have qualifying length of service. Employers have a statutory duty to consider their applications seriously.
Andrea Triplow, operations manager at Elizabeth Hunt, said: “This is a surprising result especially given the Government’s support for companies exploring flexible working options to help employees to achieve a work-life balance.
“Those more enlightened businesses that have embraced flexible working report greater productivity, reduced absenteeism, a decline in staff turnover and improved customer satisfaction particularly where flexible working has led to extended hours with some staff starting early and others finishing late,” she said.