Most employers offer flexible working, research shows

An overwhelming majority of employers are providing employees with some form of flexible working, a report has revealed.

The report, Work and Life: How business is striking the right balance, by the British Chambers of Commerce, provides an overview of what UK businesses are doing to meet the work-life balance needs of their employees.

The study of 408 business found:

  • 89% provided their employees with some form of flexible working
  • 72% offer part-time working
  • 69% offer variable working hours
  • 38% offer working from home
  • 71% of employers believe that there has been either some or a significant improvement in employee relations as a result of offering flexible working
  • 60% of employers reported some or a significant improvement in staff retention
  • 58% of employers reported some or a significant improvement in productivity.

As many as 84% of respondents do not have a formal written work-life balance policy. The report says this might explain the perception gap that exists between what employers are actually doing and what politicians assume they are doing.

The report calls for practical guidance about how employers can work more flexibly at low cost, rather than increased legislation. 

Sally Low, director of policy and external Affairs at the BCC, said: “This report clearly shows how disconnected politicians are from the reality of the UK’s workplaces.

“The debate now needs to shift away from what employers are not doing to focus on what they are, and try to identify the real barriers to greater flexibility.

“Those who aren’t providing flexibility for their staff lack the management confidence to restructure the way they manage their staff, only advice and support will rectify this while further regulation will impose a needless and onerous burden.”

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