Employers welcome flexible working legislation

Over half of employers (55%) welcome the government’s plans to introduce legislation requiring them to offer flexible working to all employees, according to research from recruitment firms Hays.

The survey found that 70% of employers expect an increase in requests for flexible working and 40% are preparing for a resulting impact on their budgets.

More employers in the private sector (44%) expect costs to increase if staff take up the offer of flexible working compared with those in the public sector (33%).

The research found that employers offer flexible working arrangements primarily as a way of supporting employees, with just 18% of employers offering it just to comply with existing legislation. Only 29% feel that offering flexible working is integral to the success of their business.

The majority of employees (85%) would be more likely to stay with their employer if it were to introduce flexible working options, such as working from home or job shares.

Charles Logan, director at Hays, said: “As pay freezes remain in place for many organisations, across both sectors, looking at how to retain staff and keep them engaged is moving up the agenda.

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“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.”

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