Can we be flexible about flexible working?
ACAS have just published a report; Flexible Working for Parents Returning to Work – Maintaining Career Development, by the Institute of Employment Studies. The report calls for more opportunities for flexible working to be made available for parents returning to work, which in turn can reduce the gender pay gap. But should flexible working just be something associated with parents?
The CIPD Manchester Branch recently launched their Big Conversation focussing on Families, Parents and the Workplace with an excellent workshop and speakers discussing topics ranging from maternity leave rights to support for carers. Central to the discussions was the desire among colleagues that flexible working no longer be seen as just for new parents returning to work, but available for all. The changing expectations of employees is manifesting itself in an increased move away from the traditional 9-5 to that of remote working or working hours that fit around education, families and work/ life balance. It was felt as vital that perceived negativity towards flexible working be challenged by HR Practitioners to allow a move towards a supportive culture for all staff.
There will be key themed discussion topics over the coming weeks culminating with a presentation at the CIPD Annual Conference in November 2017. It will be interesting to hear the different views and opinions but certainly, in a climate where key skills and professions are in short supply, employers need to be open to requests from their staff to work around their personal commitments to ensure they recruit and retain their best talent.