Firms and unions sign flexible working agreement

Leading businesses and unions have formally signed an agreement on flexible working.

Leading businesses and unions have formally signed an agreement on flexible working.

Richard Lambert, director general of the CBI, and Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC, were the first to sign the "concordat" supporting the development and implementation of the Work Wise UK campaign and its objectives.

Work Wise UK, a not for profit initiative, is in the first year of a five-year programme to promote the wider adoption of smarter working practices, such as flexible working, working from home, mobile and remote working, to help enable the UK economy to better compete against emerging economies like China and India.

Barber said, "Introducing smarter working practices across UK workplaces would give employees more choice over their hours and working patterns. Greater flexibility that allows people to work from home occasionally could have a major impact on their lives.”

He said, “Less time would be wasted commuting and people would get to see more of their friends and families. It would also help reduce stress levels, allowing staff to be more effective at work and healthier generally.”

Lambert said, “Many businesses are already reaping rewards from more flexible and smarter ways of working, achieving improved productivity and staff recruitment and retention.  Local communities and the environment benefit too.  The right balance must, of course, be struck between employees having maximum flexibility and businesses remaining competitive and meeting customers’ needs.”

David Frost, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said, “The success of the British economy depends upon an enterprising industry with a skilled and innovative workforce. Workwise UK provides a unique opportunity for employers and employees to work together to create mutually beneficial ways to work.”

Other initial signatories of the concordat include BT, Scope, Technology Means Business and Henley Management Centre.

The aim is for thousands of other organisations to follow this example and sign the concordat via the Work Wise website, demonstrating their commitment to revolutionising the workplace.

Companies and unions shake hands on flexible working

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