Leading UK employers call for flexible working recruitment by default 

flexible workingA joint letter from 21 leading employers – including several in the FTSE 100 – is calling on employers across the UK to advertise all vacant roles with flexible options by default. The full text is:

“The pandemic has ushered in a new era of work, and one thing is clear: the future is flexible. As leading employers, we embrace this evolution. Because we understand the far-reaching benefits of flexible working, each one of us has committed to advertising all of our vacant roles with flexible options by default. Not only is this change necessary; we believe it’s vital to creating a more inclusive, robust workforce.

“The Timewise Flexible Jobs Index 2021 found that only a quarter of jobs adverts offer flexibility. That means that three-quarters of job adverts are effectively locking out a valuable pool of talent: those who require flexibility to be able to work. This especially impacts people with caring responsibilities. Research by charity Working Families shows that 82% of UK parents are likely to apply for jobs that advertise some form of flexibility, compared to only 31% who would apply for jobs that don’t. And over half of UK parents would consider leaving their current job if they found another with more flexibility.

“Flexible working is no longer just a ‘nice-to-have’. It’s good for people and good for business—boosting productivity, employee engagement, and staff retention. Advertising roles with flexible options isn’t just a perk we offer to our candidates; it’s a vital part of our recruitment strategy.

“Recruiting flexibly isn’t just for jobs that can be done remotely. With almost half of UK parents working in roles that are tied to a location and cannot be done from home, the flex of the future goes beyond hybrid and home working. As employers of all sizes from a diverse range of sectors, we are living proof that—with a willingness to find solutions—flexibility can work in all jobs and all industries, not just desk-based roles.

“Beyond the many benefits to our business and our culture, we are also championing flexible working because, for many, it’s a direct path to employment. With the current cost-of-living crisis putting so many families into financial jeopardy, offering flexible roles at the point of recruitment opens opportunities to those who have caring responsibilities but who desperately need additional income.

“This National Work Life Week, we’re proud to use our collective voice to encourage other employers to follow our lead and recruit flexibly by default. We believe recruiting in this way gives us access to high-quality, diverse talent; fosters a committed and engaged workforce; and paves the way for a more equitable society that provides opportunities for all.”


Signed by:

Kevin Thomas
Executive Director for Corporate Services
Audit Wales 

Janet Scotcher
Chief People Officer
Cambridge University Press & Assessment 

Karen Hutcheson
Head of Talent Acquisition, Colleague Mobility & Early Careers

Angela Tangas
dentsu UK&I 

Rachel Duncan
HR Director UK

Caroline Rainbird
Chief Executive Officer
David Blackburn
Chief People Officer
Financial Services Compensation Scheme  

Charles Weatherhogg
Human Resources Director
Genome Research Limited 

Perry Burton
Head of People and Culture, Strategic Leadership Team
Grant Thornton UK LLP

Carolyn Morgan
Director of Human Resources
Hill Dickinson LLP 

Harvey Tilley
Chief Operating Officer
Independent Living Fund Scotland 

Lyn Garner
Chief Executive
London Legacy Development Corporation 

Joanna Browning
Managing Director – People Experience, MINT
Markel International Services Limited 

Vanessa Dewhurst
Chief People Officer
Mishcon de Reya LLP 

Jen Ross
Regional HR Manager – UK and Europe
Mott MacDonald 

Simon Hart
Executive Director of People & Culture

Andrew Masraf
Senior Partner
Pinsent Masons LLP 

Mary FitzPatrick
Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity
Rolls-Royce plc 

Saira Demmer
SF Recruitment 

Russell Hobby
Chief Executive
Teach First 

Sarah Collins
Commercial Director and D&I Champion for the Parents, Carers, and Flexible Workers Network
UK Health Security Agency 


Ed Feltham

Director of Talent Acquisition UK&I