The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is urging the Government to proceed with plans to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees.
The call follows the results of a study which suggest just four per cent of businesses have struggled to comply with current rules. The legislation, introduced in 2003, covers parents of children aged up to 17 and disabled children up to 18, as well as some carers.
Flexible working: provision and uptake, carried out by the CIPD, found that almost all employers provide the option to at least some workers. Around 70 per cent of respondents believe it supports staff retention, motivation and engagement.
“The CIPD has long been calling for the extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees, despite claims from some quarters that the legislation is burdensome for businesses,” said Ben Willmott, its Head of Public Policy. “Similar concerns were raised over a decade ago about the plans to introduce the statutory right to request flexible working for parents. Those fears have proved unfounded – regardless of size of organisation.”
Additionally, nearly two-thirds of the study’s respondents think flexible working supports their recruitment activities and half say it positively affects absence rates and productivity.
While methods such as part-time, flexitime, home and mobile working are fairly common, others are rarely used. Only five per cent of employees employ compressed hours, two per cent utilise term-time working, and just one per cent job share.