December 24, 2014

British employers increasingly positive towards flexible working

Positive attitudes towards flexible working are increasing among employers in the UK, according to a government survey.

The latest Work–Life Balance Employer Survey, commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, found that 56% of employers consider flexible working good for business.

The survey also reports that employers agreeing with the statement "employees should not be able to change patterns if it disrupts the business" has dropped from 73% to 49% since the last survey was compiled in 2007.

Other findings included the number of employers offering paternity leave (either paid or unpaid) beyond the statutory minimum increasing from 18% to 27% since 2007.

Meanwhile, the practice of jobsharing has decreased, but other flexible working arrangements—such as flexitime and reducing working hours for a limited period—have increased.

The survey polled 2,011 employers in England, Scotland, and Wales with at least five employees on the payroll. It is the fourth such survey since 2000.

IZA World of Labor author Carol Graham has written about the relationship between flexible working and employee well-being, specifically with reference to older workers. She writes that: "Voluntary part-time workers in Europe and the US are happier, experience less stress and anger, and are more satisfied with their jobs than other employees."

The survey can be found here.

Related articles:
Late-life work and well-being, by Carol Graham
Fixed-term contracts, by Werner Eichhorst