As the government consultation into whether employers should have to publish their family-related leave and flexible working policies comes to a close, research has shown that parents and carers are overwhelmingly in favour of greater transparency.
Action to turn the labour market on its head around flexible working is long overdue. Requiring employers to advertise jobs flexibly – and ensuring that better job design as an integral part of the process – will help create more part-time and/or flexible jobs for everyone, and a more level playing field for parents” – Jane van Zyl, Working Families
Almost all (97%) parents and carers surveyed agreed that requiring employers to publish their flexible working and family-related leave and pay policies would be helpful and would make an employer more attractive to work for.
The research by work-life balance charity Working Families also surveyed its employer members and found that nearly all (97%) agreed that companies with 250 or more employees should publish their flexible working and family-related leave and pay policies on their websites; 93% of employers agreed that doing so would be simple and inexpensive.
More than 89% of parents and carers surveyed agreed that employers should have to advertise vacancies with part-time or flexible working options and 84% of employed parents and carers and over 95% of unemployed parents and carers agreed that a lack of quality, permanent part-time job opportunities had been a barrier to applying for a new job.
Employers surveyed nearly all (97%) agreed that advertising jobs with part-time and flexible options is helpful for recruiting and retaining staff; 89% believed a requirement on companies to recruit flexibly would be effective, while only 33% believed a voluntary approach would be effective.
Jane van Zyl, chief executive of Working Families, said: “Our research shows that while 86% of working parents would like to work flexibly, only just under half (49%) actually do; and that all too often, when they have accessed flexibility, they feel trapped in the ‘flexible’ role.
“Large employers publishing their flexible and family-friendly policies will empower parents to make informed choices about where they work, igniting a ‘race to the top’ around flexible and family-friendly policies among employers that want to recruit and retain the best talent.
“Action to turn the labour market on its head around flexible working is long overdue. Requiring employers to advertise jobs flexibly – and ensuring that better job design as an integral part of the process – will help create more part-time and/or flexible jobs for everyone, and a more level playing field for parents.”
More than 700 parents and carers and 74 Working Families employer members participated in the survey.
The Good Work Plan consultations launched while Theresa May was still prime minister also include additional leave entitlement for parents of babies in neonatal care, reforming current entitlements to better balance the gender division of parental leave, and addressing the issue of one-sided flexibility. The latter closes on 29 November while the others close today.