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Government announces measures to promote flexible working

In its response to the Family Friendly Taskforce report, the government has pledged to do more to promote flexible working. A range of measures will be implemented in a drive to get Britain’s top employers thinking flexibly.

The key points:
  • New Cabinet Office guidance will mean that all jobs should be advertised as available for flexible or part-time working unless there is a good business case why this isn’t possible.
     
  • The Government will appoint a taskforce of business leaders and business organisations to champion the case for flexible working in the private sector.
     
  • Jobcentre Plus will implement changes to their computer system so that every time a new vacancy comes into a Jobcentre, the employer will be automatically asked if it can be part time, job share or flexible.
     
  • The Department for Work and Pensions will lead the way in making job vacancies available on a part time and flexible basis.
Flexible working has formed a central part of the current government’s economic recovery strategy, receiving good support from Human Resources Professionals. Welcoming the initiatives Ben Willmot, senior public policy advisor at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development commented, states that there is a "strong business case" for flexible working, as it can help to both recruit and retain staff. Mr Willmot adds that employees who have more of a favourable work life balance tend to be happier while they are at work.
 
Announcing the measures Yvette Cooper, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said:
 
“Many parents can feel torn between working and being able to spend enough time with their children. Helping people into jobs, which also meet the needs of their family, is a really important way to tackle poverty and help parents build a better life for their children.
 
There aren’t enough quality part-time or flexible jobs available to parents at the moment and I am determined that, starting with my own Department, Government works with business so that we can make sure there are enough opportunities out there for parents who want to work."
 
It appears that effective implementation of these measures will not be dependent on who is in government. The Conservatives seem to be embracing flexible working too according to leading flexible working website flexibility.co.uk.  Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Phil Hammond is quoted as saying “Delivering of the UK's economic and social goals depends on a huge increase in flexibility in employment patterns”.

Posted by Dizali Mentha


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