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Employers still have huge reservations about permitting more flexible working

Employers still have huge reservations about permitting more flexible working

Employers still have huge reservations about permitting flexible workingEmployers considering new flexible working options for their employees are concerned about the security and management implications, according to a recent poll, despite the fact that staff now have the legal right to request flexible arrangements. The survey of medium sized businesses, carried out for RSM by YouGov, found that over the next five years, three quarters of respondents were considering introducing flexible terms of employment, allowing workers to work outside 9 to 5 or increasing the use of remote working.

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Employers who do not offer flexible working are the exception rather than rule

Employers who do not offer flexible working are the exception rather than rule

Employers who do not offer flexible working are the exception rather than ruleMost organisations already offer some sort of flexible working and over half of employees now ask to work flexibly, a new survey from XpertHR research has claimed. One in 12 organisations (8.1 percent) reported that all employees worked flexibly, with employers attributing the rise to a more supportive workplace culture and the impact of recent legal changes. The survey found that more than half (55.9 percent) had seen an increase in flexible working requests over the past two years. Three out of four believed that this was due to changes in workplace culture in recent years, attributable in part to a change in the law in 2014 that extended the right to request flexible working to all employees with at least 26 weeks’ service. Flexible working goes across the board, and includes part-time working, variable start and finish times, home-working and other options.

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Report calls for more support for working carers, including flexible working

Report calls for more support for working carers, including flexible working

office design and facilities managementThe UK’s Work and Pensions Committee has published a report detailing recommendations on how working carers can be better supported by both employers and the government. This includes proposals to make the right to request flexible working available from an employee’s first day. The report, Employment support for carers: thirteenth report of session 2017-19, seeks to offer advice on how working carers can be better supported to remain in or enter employment. The report covers recommendations for the existing state benefits system around the carers’ allowance, potential changes to employment policies and also how the government can act as a model employer in this space.

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CIPD to co-chair Government’s flexible working task force

CIPD to co-chair Government’s flexible working task force

The CIPD has been invited to co-chair the UK Government’s new Flexible Working Task Force. The task force has been established by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to promote wider understanding and implementation of inclusive flexible work and working practices, bringing together policy-makers, employer groups, Unions and employee representative groups, research groups and professional bodies.  More →

Working fathers are being let down by workplace policies, claims Government report

Working fathers are being let down by workplace policies, claims Government report

The Government’s Women and Equalities Committee has published its report on fathers in the workplace. Its main conclusion is that current policies supporting fathers in the workplace do not deliver what they promise, despite good intentions and this is particularly the case for less well-off fathers. It claims that the Government must reform workplace policies to ensure they meet the needs of the 21st century family and to better support working dads in caring for their children, say MPs. The report concludes that the right to request flexible working has not created the necessary cultural change and the Government itself admitted to the inquiry that its flagship shared parental leave scheme will not meet its objective for most fathers.

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New government campaign sets out to increase take up of shared parental leave

New government campaign sets out to increase take up of shared parental leave

A new government campaigned launched today encourages more parents to take up the offer of Shared Parental Leave in their child’s first year. The workplace right for eligible parents allows them to share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay after having a baby. They can take time off separately or they can be at home together for up to 6 months. Around 285,000 couples every year are eligible but take up could be as low as 2 percent, according to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and around half of the general public are unaware that the option exists for parents.

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Working families at breaking point as parents buckle under the strain of overwork, claims study

Working families at breaking point as parents buckle under the strain of overwork, claims study

The UK’s working parents are struggling to cope with the strain of overwork – and deliberately stalling and downshifting their careers to reverse the negative impact it is having on family life, according to a new study. The 2018 Modern Families Index, published today by work life charity Working Families and Bright Horizons, reveals the stress of the modern workplace is pushing parents to breaking point, creating a ‘parenthood penalty’. According to the study, many parents are obliged to work far over their contracted hours due to increasingly intense workloads or because they feel it is expected of them.

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A 300 year old idea explains some of the enduring appeal of the open plan

A 300 year old idea explains some of the enduring appeal of the open plan

In the 18th Century the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham came up with his idea of the Panopticon, a prison building with a central tower encircled by cells so that each person in the cells knew they could be watched at all times. Whether they were observed or not was actually immaterial. Bentham called it ‘a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind’ and while he focused on its use as a prison, he was also aware of the idea’s usefulness for schools, asylums and hospitals. Bentham got the original idea following a visit to Belarus to see his brother who was managing sites there and had used the idea of a circular building at the centre of an industrial compound to allow a small number of managers to oversee the activities of a large workforce. This is something of a precursor of the scientific management theories of Frederick Taylor that continue to influence the way we work and manage people.

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Shake up of working culture and practices recommended to reduce pay gaps

Shake up of working culture and practices recommended to reduce pay gaps

All jobs should be advertised as available for flexible working, and greater support should be given to fathers to play more of a role in child care, in a shake-up of culture and working practices to reduce pay gaps, the Equality and Human Rights Commission said today. The call comes as the Commission’s strategy for tackling gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps is released. A strategy to reduce pay gaps in Britain makes six recommendations outlining the action needed by government, in society and in our businesses to improve equality in earnings for women, ethnic minorities and disabled people. According to the EHRC, offering all jobs as flexible will remove the barriers faced by women and disabled people, who are more likely to have to negotiate flexible working or accept part-time jobs that are often low-paid. Creating work places with flexible cultures will increase opportunities for everyone, giving people greater choice about the role they play both at work and home. More →

The world has its say on the Taylor Review into modern working practices

The world has its say on the Taylor Review into modern working practices 0

Yesterday, the much-awaited Taylor Review into modern working practices was finally published. And by modern working practices, the report focussed primarily on what has become known as the gig economy. People have been speculating about the contents of the report for months and things ramped up last week after a partial leak to the media. So, things were already bubbling under nicely before the actual publication of the document brought things to a boil yesterday. Assuming the government do more than kick the whole thing into the long grass, always a possibility, debate will continue for a while. We’ll let politicians do their thing with it, but here are a few of the initial reactions from interested parties and the experts. More →

What will the UK General Election mean for the workplace? Some experts respond

What will the UK General Election mean for the workplace? Some experts respond 0

Any residual feelings of certainty that anybody in the UK may have had about the country’s future following last year’s Brexit vote, will have had them pretty much eradicated by last Thursday’s General Election result. However, we must try to make sense of things for society and the wider economy as well as specific facets of it, such as the world of work. The whole thing looks like the pig’s ear that it is, of course. Fortunately, as some experts have already argued, there are some reasons to see some positive outcomes, including a soft (or softer) Brexit and the chance of a more positive approach to workplace rights, now that the Government needs to maintain a broader consensus. The fear or hope that the UK would lighten its already soft touch approach to workplace legislation would seem at least to be less well founded.

 

 

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Workplace reforms become a key element in the election debate

Workplace reforms become a key element in the election debate 0

The workplace has become one of the key battlegrounds in the UK general election debate, as the main political parties seek to court mainstream opinion and with the imminent publication of the Taylor Review into the gig economy. The Labour Party will today announce in its manifesto a commitment to provide 30 hours of free childcare for all two to four-year-olds, covering 1.3 million children. Yesterday, the Conservatives announced that employees will be offered the right to take up to a year off work to care for family members with illness or disability as well as commitments to introducing statutory child bereavement leave and the right to request time off work for training. There are also expected to be other announcements into the workings of the gig economy with new rules to extend maternity and sickness pay to workers who are currently classed as self-employed.

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