Recruitment consultancy Equals One and Encore Recruitment has a bulging trophy cabinet full of awards for innovation, particularly in the flexible working field. Director Vivienne Duke says: "Without doubt, flexible working [arrangements] improve staff turnover and [reduce] staff absenteeism, and promote a healthy, happy workplace."
The company has offered flexible working since it was founded six years ago, and prides itself on offering creative solutions to employees’ requests. "One such job share arrangement is between a lady who has young school children and a lady whose children have grown up.
"They job share on an annualised basis as one requires school hours and term time only, while the other positively avoids school holidays when taking her annual leave. This works well for all parties and also provides us with additional cover during busy periods when both work together. Most job shares operate on a weekly basis," explains Duke.
Based in Leeds, the company won the Working Families Innovation Award 2005 for its work around job sharing. Its flexible working policies are available to all employees and not just those who are eligible under existing legislation.
"I think UK workplaces which have adopted flexible working are seeing all the benefits that we have. It enables them to tap into a whole new recruitment pool of high-calibre candidates and provides flexibility internally," says Duke.