Firms failing to embrace family-friendly policies

More than a quarter of employers do not offer any family-friendly policies
to their employees, according to a report by the Institute of Directors.

The report, Workplace Issues, shows that 26 per cent of employers do not
offer family-friendly policies and more than a third say they are not planning
to introduce any more. They blame the anticipated costs and disruption.

Only 53 per cent of IoD members allow their employees to work flexible
hours, nearly half permit working from home and a fifth give staff the
opportunity to job share.

Richard Wilson, business policy executive at the IoD, said, "Some
directors have not offered family-friendly policies because their employees
probably haven’t requested any. My impression is that the vast majority would
be happy to provide job sharing. Some are happy to provide flexible working but
with things like crèches it’s a cost implication."

The research also shows that over 80 per cent of the directors surveyed are
not aware of complaints over "long hours culture". About 40 per cent
of directors who are aware of complaints believe it to be a problem.

Employees in respondents’ firms work a standard week of around 38 hours with
nearly half of those surveyed reporting that their staff leave promptly from
work. However, more than half say it is common for their staff to work late, on
average putting in an additional six hours over the standard working week.

More than a third of respondents had explicit policies in place setting out
what constitutes bullying, and have a complaints and investigation procedure. A
fifth had received complaints about bullying.

The IoD surveyed 390 members, with more than a third of responses coming
from employers with over 50 employees.

By Katie Hawkins

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