Flexible UK challenged by Cranfield survey of 8,000 companies in 32 countries

A study has challenged government assertions that the UK has a flexible labour market.

Research by Cranfield School of Management’s Human Resource Research Centre, shows that UK companies are inferior to foreign rivals when it comes to flexible working arrangements and the efficient use of labour.

The study of 8,000 companies across 32 countries shows that just 48% of the UK’s companies offer flexitime working conditions to their employees, compared to 94% in Sweden, 92% in Finland and 90% in Germany.

Researchers said that although other areas, including part-time working (97%), homeworking (32%) and job sharing (55%), compare favourably with foreign competition, these results are not enough to support the government’s claims.

Professor of HRM and director of the Cranfield Human Resource Research Centre, Shau Tyson, said: “It may be easier to make people redundant over here, but the survey shows we don’t use labour very flexibly.”


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