25 Oct 2012
A new report from national parenting charity Family Lives has found that flexible working is still “extremely difficult to obtain” for many families.
While many businesses claim to be supportive of flexible working there is a clear disparity between aims and implementation, according to the report. The majority of workplaces remain fixed on a 9am to 5pm working hours model, forcing many parents to make decisions about whether or not to stay in work.
Claire Walker, Working Mum and Director of Policy, Family Lives said:
“While flexible working has become near universal in UK workplaces - with over 95% of workplaces purporting to offer at least one flexible working practice - many workplaces are still unable to see the benefits and cost savings to them of this approach and parents are either being refused reasonable requests to change working patterns or are too afraid to ask. Because of rising living and childcare costs, many parents, especially women, are forced to leave the workplace taking vital skills and experience with them.”
The report Family Friendly or Failing Families? reviewed flexible working policies and measures being developed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to improve access to flexible working. It calls on the government to do more to promote flexible working as part of its Modern Workplaces Agenda.
Recommendations for employers include more forward planning; investment in technology; reassessment of work roles and better communication between teams to ease the implementation of flexible working initiatives.