Hays Reveals Over Half Of Employers Welcome Flexible Working Legislation Despite Extra Cost
Released on: August 06, 2010, 10:52 am
Industry: Human Resources
Hays, the leading recruiting expert, has revealed the results
of new research that shows over half of employers (55 per cent) welcome
plans by the Government to introduce legislation requiring them to
offer flexible working to all employees. Seventy per cent expect an
increase in requests for flexible working and nearly 40 per cent are
bracing themselves for a resulting impact on their budgets.
The survey of over 680 workers and 420 employers undertaken by Hays in June 2010 found that more private sector employers
expect an increase in their costs if staff take up the offer of flexible working
than in the public sector (44 per cent, compared to 33 per cent).
Employers offer flexible working primarily as way of supporting their employees,
with just 18 per cent reporting it is just to comply with existing legislation. Only
29 per cent feel offering flexible working is integral to the success of their
From the perspective of employees, almost half of all workers (46 per cent) say
their current employer does not encourage flexible working, rising to over half in
the private sector. Furthermore, some of the options most sought after by employees
are the ones they believe are unavailable.
An overwhelming 85 per cent of staff says that if their employer were to introduce
more flexible working options, such as working from home or job shares, they would
be more likely to stay with them. Not surprisingly, 95 per cent of staff says
flexible working improves work-life balance and over 20 per cent see these policies
as an "essential" when choosing a job.
Charles Logan, Director at Hays, commented: "Employers and their staff see flexible
working policies as a positive move but more needs to be done to make sure these are
implemented in the workplace. Our research indicates that employers offer flexible
working options to support their employees, with a comparatively small number saying
they adopt flexible working simply to conform to current legislation. The research
shows clear evidence that flexible working can improve productivity and
work-balance, if employers can make the types most desired by staff available."
Workers report that the main reason they have used flexible working is to gain more
personal time (35 per cent) and to cope with care arrangements for children or
elderly relatives (29 per cent) - a trend only set to increase with future
demographic changes. Over half of employees say the practice of working from home
increases their productivity levels and report that they have the technology in
place to allow them to do so.
"As pay freezes remain in place for many organisations, across both sectors,
looking at how to retain your staff and keep them engaged is moving up the agenda.
Offering simple flexible working options could make the difference between keeping
or losing staff at a critical time, when the best employees are needed to drive
recovery," added Logan.
Hays plc (the "Group") is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is
the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being
the market leader in the UK and Australia and one of the market leaders in
Continental Europe. It operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in
permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.
The Group employs 6,933 staff operating from 345 offices in 28 countries across 17
specialisms, including construction jobs,
banking jobs, teaching assistant jobs, hr jobs, and health and safety jobs.
For the year ended 30 June 2009:
-The Group had revenues of £2.4 billion, net fees of £670.8 million and operating
profit of £158 million.
-The Group placed around 50,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 270,000
people into temporary assignments.
-The temporary placement business represented 56% of net fees and the permanent
placement business represented 44% of net fees.
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