CIPD disputes CBI claim that flexible working harms business

The problems that businesses have implementing flexible working schemes are outweighed by the benefits, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The CIPD hit back at claims in the CBI’s annual employment trends report that increasing numbers of employers are reporting a negative impact from family-friendly employment laws.

The CBI report shows a rise from 11% to 26% in the proportion of employers reporting that the right to request flexible working has affected their businesses.

More than three-quarters of all firms reported spending an increasing amount of time dealing with related administration, and just under 60% reported that valuable senior management time was being diverted to compliance.

Rebecca Clake, organisation and resourcing adviser at the CIPD, said its research has shown that three-quarters of employers say flexible working practices have a positive effect on staff retention, and 70% say they improve motivation. 

“At a time when recruitment and retention are major problems for many employers operating in the current tight labour market, it is good that many are discovering that flexible working can be a win-win situation for their business and their employees,” she said.

“Far more employers have found this new, light-touch legislation to be a boost for their firms than those feeling it is negative. 

“The real challenge for employers is how to implement and operate flexible working in practice, in order to create the positive culture and secure the improved performance they desire.”

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