CIPD offers new guidance on non-traditional work roles

Following the recent government consultation on improving the rights of variable hours workers, the CIPD has published new employer guidance to help ensure that ‘atypical working arrangements’ benefit both the organisation and individuals. The guidance, Atypical Working: A guide to successfully implementing atypical work in your organisation, defines atypical working as practices which include the self-employed, temporary workers, agency staff and people on zero hours contracts.

The new guidance, which is based in large part around case studies, illustrates the steps employers can take to try and ensure this win-win scenario plays out in practice. It sets out to help employers to maximise the benefits for people, reduce the incidence of cases where people feel exploited or unfairly treated and provide the organisation with the flexibility it requires. The CIPD says it will be canvassing the views of members for an update of the guidance in due course.

The guide focuses on eight key aspects that underpin good management of atypical working:

1. Ensuring that any decision to use atypical workers are taken as part of a comprehensive workforce planning exercise.

2. Seeking to motivate and engage atypical workers in the same way they would for the rest of the workforce.

3. Ensuring workers have a choice over when and how they work.

4. Providing workers with clarity on employment status.

5. Providing opportunities for training and progression.

6. Giving workers a voice in the workplace.

7. Treating atypical workers and regular workers equally, to ensure fairness.

8. Supporting managers to manage atypical workers appropriately.

Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, said: ‘The evidence shows that where the flexibility associated with atypical working practices works for both the employer and the individual working in this way then it can provide a real ‘win-win’. Our guidance highlights the people management and development practices organisations need to focus on to achieve this outcome. The government is planning to introduce new rights for atypical workers to switch to a more regular working pattern and to reasonable notice of work schedules, for example, which will mean employers will have to plan more carefully how they manage variable hours workers. CIPD’s guide provides a range of useful insights and recommendations to help organisations do this.”