Flexible working now offered by 95% of employers

More employers than ever before are offering some kind of flexible working to their staff, according to the government’s latest Work-Life Balance Employer Survey.

The survey of 1,462 workplaces across the UK, commissioned by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), found 95% of employers offer some form of flexible working for staff.

The amount of workplaces providing childcare facilities, or other arrangements to help parents combine work with family commitments, has more than doubled since 2003, from 8% to 18%.

The survey also found:

  • Part-time working was available in 92% of workplaces, up from 81% in 2003.

  • Employers offering reduced hours working had increased – up from 40% to 74%

  • Employers offering compressed hours working had increased – up from 19% to 41%

  • The availability of job sharing and flexi-hours had increased – up from 39% to 59% and up from 39% to 55% respectively

  • 92% of employers said they would consider a request to change working patterns from any employee

Employment relations minister Pat McFadden said: “The way we work is changing, in many cases to fit in with people’s lives.

“More people want to balance work with family and lifestyle and more employers are increasingly recognising that flexibility helps retain good staff.”

Last month the government announced its intention to extend the right to request flexible working to parents of older, teenage children.

Sainsbury’s HR director Imelda Walsh was appointed to carry out an independent review, which will consider how the current right to request should be extended, and the upper age limit of a child which should apply.

Walsh will make recommendations to BERR in spring 2008.

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