WITH changes to flexible working regulations due imminently, Work Wise North East (WWNE) the campaign which promotes the benefits of smarter working for employees, is urging employers to throw off the nine-to-five mentality and seize the initiative ahead of the new legislation which will come into effect in April.
This will equalise the rights of parents to flexible working, simplify the rules and take the next step towards employers being legally obliged to offer flexible working to all staff with children under 18 years of age.
Currently flexible working rights are available to 10.5 million employees, with this figure set to grow by 300,000 once the legislation has come into effect.
Those that already operate flexible working policies continue to experience much-improved outcomes in the workplace. For example, BT, which has operated with a flexible working policy for the last 10 years, reports a £350m saving in accommodation costs and absenteeism figures 20% below the national average with 99% of BT employees on maternity leave returning to work.
Recent research taken with regional employers by steering group partner Dickinson Dees found that roughly two-thirds had ad-hoc arrangements in place for flexible working but felt they could do more to further extend current practices. By far and away the benefits were perceived to be enhanced employee wellbeing, less absenteeism and a better quality of life.
To further explore the issues surrounding the implementation of flexible working practices, Dickinson Dees, in conjunction with WWNE and ARK Associates, are holding a flexible working masterclass.
This practical masterclass will discuss the benefits and legal implications of flexible working arrangements. Moreover, there will be the opportunity for debate regarding the suitability of flexible working in differing work environments.
WWNE chair Simon Roberson said: “It is clear that flexible working is an attractive proposition for many businesses and particularly those starting a business from home. The WWNE campaign is now in its fourth year and throughout the year we will be continuing to spread awareness and provide advice about the benefits of smarter working, which makes sense whatever the size of your company or organisation.”
To find out more about the Work Wise campaign, smarter working and how it can help your organisation, go to www.workwiseuk/northeast or contact Simon Roberson at firstname.lastname@example.org