Just 6% of jobs offer flexible working

Only 6% of full-time job roles with a salary of more than £20,000 offer workers the option of flexible working, according to research by flexible hiring specialist Timewise.

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The Timewise flexible jobs index, which analysed 3.5 million UK-based job vacancies, found that 6% of roles in the £20,000-£29,999 wage bracket embrace flexible working.

The study also found:

  • In the £40,000-£49,999 wage bracket, just 3% of roles offer flexible working. This goes down to 2% for jobs with annual pay of £100,000-£199,999.
  • 14.1 million British employees want to work flexibly. This is the equivalent of just under half (46%) of people in employment.
  • Those working in the health and education sectors have the greatest chance of jobs being advertised with flexible working options (20%).
  • Roles in engineering and manufacturing industries ranked the lowest (2%).

Flexible working was extended to all employees in June 2014. Any employee who has worked with their current employer for at least 26 weeks can make one ‘flexibility request’ to change their working patterns a year, which their employer has a legal duty to consider.

The law previously stated that only parents of children under 16 or those registered as carers were allowed to request flexible working.

Karen Mattison, co-founder of Timewise, said: “The world of work has experienced a revolution. Technology advances and recent legislations have facilitated a huge growth in flexible working, yet this has not been reflected in hiring practices.

“Businesses are missing out, as they consistently fail to realise just how important flexibility is.”

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“The study shows that while organisations have embraced flexible working for existing employees, their approach does not extend to making new hires. This seems inconsistent,” said Helena Morrissey, chief executive officer of Newton Investment Management and founder of the 30% Club, which aims to increase female representation on FTSE-100 boards to 30% by the end of 2015.

“If businesses could offer flexibility for new hires too, we might just see a much wider pool of female talent open up, benefiting businesses by alleviating the stubborn problem of too few women in the talent pipeline,” added Morrissey.