UK is limited on flexible working practices

Findings from the latest Cranet Survey on International Strategic HR Management, conducted by Cranfield School of Management, show that some flexible working practices in the UK are used far more frequently than others.

The majority of UK organisations use part-time work, job share, temporary or casual work and fixed-term contracts. However, these are generally only used by less than 5% of an organisation’s workforce.

Other flexible working practices, such as annualised hours, home-based or teleworking, and a compressed working week, are still relatively uncommon in the UK.

Looking at the use of flexible working across the EU, a number of countries show some striking differences. Flexible working in general appears to be prevalent in the UK compared to other countries, particularly with regard to part-time working, job sharing and teleworking.

The UK does not match up quite so well against other European countries with regard to flexi-time and annualised hours, with these more common in Germany and Sweden. Indeed, Germany, Sweden and Denmark appear to use flexible working extensively, especially compared to Greece, which shows low rates of many practices.

The survey concludes that the benefits of flexible working appear to be getting through in the UK and most northern European countries. However, on the whole, the proportion of the workforce using flexible working within UK organisations is still low.

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