June 6, 2014
As employers prepare for new flexible working legislation, which comes into place at the end of this month; Deloitte UK has announced it is to allow its 12,000 employees more say in where, when and how they work. The firm has introduced a range of new and adapted, formal and informal agile working arrangements to incite a change in the day-to-day culture at the UK firm. Deloitte already offers all employees the right to request a formal flexible working arrangement; it will now also enable them to request a block of four weeks unpaid leave each year, without reason or justification. These arrangements support its wider measures that encourage a more agile workplace, including the introduction of collaborative and adaptable working spaces, an environment that supports open conversations about agile working and improvements to technology that make it feasible.
Supporting agile working has long been a priority for Deloitte but has taken increasing precedence as the firm seeks new ways to build its pipeline of female talent and thus improve future female leadership at the firm.
David Sproul, chief executive of Deloitte UK, commented: “We have set ambitious targets of 25% female partners by 2020 and 30% by 2030. In order to achieve these we must improve our pipeline of future female leaders by making Deloitte a place that offers the opportunity to be successful while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
“This is about more than doing the right thing – a clear business imperative has been identified. As recognised by the Lord Davies review, female leadership can improve organisational performance. Deloitte is making sure it is best placed to improve and increase opportunities for female talent and benefit from the wider, more empowered group.”
The changes announced go beyond the traditional flexible working allowances and give employees the power to manage their own working practices. Beyond facilitating a greater pipeline of future female leaders, they are designed to benefit the firm and its people by:
- Attracting and retaining top talent at all levels
- Increasing productivity and commitment
- Making more effective use of office space
- Offering employees choice and power in relation to how and where they work.
Business Minister, Jenny Willott said: “Employees want to be able to balance their work life with their home commitments without losing out in the workplace. Part of achieving this is being able to work flexibly. As of 30 June all employees will have the right to request to work flexibly. Deloitte UK has shown that it is already ahead of the curve when it comes to nurturing talent and improving diversity at the very top of their organisation.
“Research shows flexible working makes good business sense. Deloitte’s new flexible working arrangements provide an excellent benchmark which I hope other businesses will look to match”.
Emma Codd, managing partner for talent at Deloitte, said: “The UK business community is waking up to the need to make flexible and agile working a priority for its people. We’re encouraged by nationwide changes, such as new legislation giving employees the statutory right to request flexible working, but we believe there’s far more that can be done.
“These changes are about striking the right balance between offering the tools to allow people to work wherever and whenever is best for them, trusting them to make the right decisions and judging them on output. The feedback we’re receiving from our people is already overwhelmingly positive.”