Bosses need more help to embed flexibility

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Employers are failing to fully embrace a flexible working approach, according to a poll by Workingmums.co.uk

Despite over half of the 400 employers questioned thinking flexible working improves retention and makes workers more efficient, only 36% actually have a flexible working policy.

The survey, sponsored by WM Recruit, shows that employers understand the benefits of flexible working, although only half grant it on a case by case basis and 30% say managers find it hard to manage multiple requests. It was conducted as Workingmums published its third annual best practice report.

The report is based on the winners of its awards programme, which celebrates best practice in flexible working, family friendly policies and women’s career progression.

Some of the in-depth case studies include:

McMillan Williams Solicitors, named the first SME Overall Top Employer. The firm has used flexible working policies to boost the number of women in senior positions so that ten of its 22 partners are women. It also shows how such policies have helped it to retain staff expertise, increase company loyalty and productivity and enabled it to be more agile and to undertake a large expansion programme.

BAE Systems Naval Ships, winner of the award for Innovation in Flexible Working, has turned around its work culture in one of the bastions of traditional working. The company has moved away from the clocking in mentality and now has core hours from 10am to 2.30pm, with additional flexibility within these. HR manager Chris Westcott tells how this has made family life so much easier for him and others and increased his commitment to the company. He says: “You can almost not put a price on it. I cannot overestimate how important it is. For people with families it is the most important thing an employer can offer.”

The company has also launched its 2015 awards scheme. This year’s ceremony will be held in London on 3rd November. Employers are invited to submit an application by 17th July.

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zygmunt/

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