Government says 95% of firms now offer flexible working


Government says 95% of firms now offer flexible working

Antony Savvas

Most firms now offer staff some form of flexible working, says the government's Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR).

The latest Work-Life Balance Employer Survey commissioned by the Department for BERR says 95% of workplaces now offer some form of flexible working to staff.

The Department surveyed 1,500 workplaces that employ five or more people for its research.

It found the number of workplaces providing childcare facilities, or other arrangements to help parents combine work with family commitments, has more than doubled since 2003, from 8% to 18%.

Pat McFadden, minister for employment relations, said the survey was an endorsement for the Government's staged approach to introducing flexible working.

"We have developed a staged approach for employees to request flexible working, which is proving effective - from giving the right to request flexible working to parents with children under six on to carers of disabled children under 18 and adults.

"We will now be discussing the best way to extend the right to request to parents of older children, so that businesses, parents, carers and families can all benefit."

The survey found that employers offering reduced working hours had increased to 74%, up from 40% in 2003.

Employers offering compressed hours working had increased to 41%, up from 19% in 2003.

And the availability of job sharing and flexi hours had increased substantially to 59% and 55% respectively.

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