British businesses ignore impact of new flexible working legislation
Of those that are aware, 25% admit they haven’t thought about the impact this could have on their business.
The new legislation, to be mandated from 30th June 2014, extends the right to request flexible working to all employees, regardless of dependents, providing they have worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks.
Despite 77% of employees being unaware of the impending changes, one in three people of the UK workforce (35%) already cite flexible working as the most important employer attribute, and two thirds (66%) would request it given the opportunity to do so.
The most popular reasons cited by employees for wanting flexible working are having more time to spend with their children (46%) and having time to focus on their hobby or study to improve their work life balance (27%).
While the majority of employers are not prepared for flexible working, over half (56%) still believe the new flexible working laws will improve their business, as their employees will be happier. This is reinforced by almost a third (32%) of employees feeling they would be more productive working the hours that most suit them.
Some employers are hesitant, with almost a third (29%) worried that they will be understaffed due to flexible working and almost a quarter (23%) worried they will not be able to fulfill employees’ requests.
In response to these findings, Jobsite has created a panel of experts including employment lawyer, Philip Landau, Martin Collinson, Vice President of International Sales at Safari Books online and, Steve Connor, Project Manager at Business and Property solutions company Fasset. All are available to offer free help and advice to fill the knowledge gap and prepare businesses in the lead up to 30th June.
Jobsite’s employment lawyer, Philip Landau commented, “We are definitely advocates of flexible working and the benefits it brings to employers and employees alike. With 67% of people expecting to ask for flexible working, there is clearly a market demand."
“However, the knowledge gap identified in our new research is worrying. Impacts should not be underestimated and we urge companies to use the next month to get prepared, or be prepared to be caught out.”
Jobsite’s expert panel have created factsheets which are available here:
For employees: click here
For employers: click here