The EOC joins many other signatories such as the CBI, TUC, British Chambers of Commerce, BT and Transport for London.
The agreement states: “This concordat brings together the signatories in a joint statement supporting the development and implementation of smarter working practices and as an example, and encouragement, to others to do likewise.
“The goal is to increase significantly the use of these practices by 2011. Such advancements will not only benefit companies, communities and individuals, but the UK economy as a whole, making it more productive and competitive in the global marketplace.”
At the signing, Jenny Watson, chair of the EOC, said: “The commission is fully committed to promoting smarter working practices – for the benefit of all. This is not just a working parents issue – flexible working practices can increase productivity and competitiveness and should be available to anyone struggling to achieve a work-life balance.”
Phil Flaxton, Work Wise UK’s chief executive, said: “Today’s work culture is from another era. Not only is it wanting in terms of efficient use of resources and the impact on the environment, it discriminates against those who have a family, who have aged relatives or who have a disability.”
Organisations and employees across the UK are being invited to take part in the second annual Work Wise Week (16-22 May 2007) which aims to create a ‘smarter’ working Britain.