Flexible working boosts recruitment and retention

Offering staff flexible working options, or at least having a proactive flexible working policy, has an overwhelmingly positive effect on recruitment and retention, according to employers surveyed by IRS.

These are among the findings of new IRS research on flexible working arrangements, based on responses from 66 employers. Employers also feel that flexible working can positively affect work-life balance. However, they feel career progression can suffer as a result of flexible working.

The most common flexible working arrangements used by respondent organisations are moving from full- to part-time hours, variable starting and finishing times, and flexitime.

The survey also finds that two-thirds of HR practitioners surveyed (66.7%) have handed over responsibility for agreeing flexible working requests to line managers. Analysed by sector, some 92.3% of public sector respondents have devolved this responsibility to line managers, compared with 59.5% in the private sector.

  • Work: our flexible friend    Writing in IRS Employment Review, Noelle Murphy presents the complete survey findings, based on responses from 66 organisations.


    France: Flexible working time agreements   The French employment ministry has published its first analysis of company accords on flexible working time agreements concluded within the framework of March 2005 legislation reforming the organisation of working time.

    Flexible working improves retention rates   IRS Employment Review presents compelling evidence that offering flexible working options to employees improves retention rates.

    Flexible working requests: don't discriminate against men   Failure to agree to a request for flexible working from a male employee where a similar request has been granted to a woman may expose an employer to a claim for sex discrimination, says David Gibson of Crutes Law Firm.

    Flexible working: avoiding the discrimination pitfalls   Equal Opportunities Review's diversity law essentials series continues with guidance on avoiding the pitfalls of discrimination when managing flexible work requests.

    Work and Families Bill: consultation on paternity rights    The DTI has launched a consultation setting out how it envisages additional paternity leave and pay will work in practice and seeking views on some of the fundamental aspects of the regime.

    How to manage requests for flexible working   XpertHR's how to section outlines the steps to be taken by employers in order to comply with the law on requests for flexible working.

    Right to request flexible working: the basics   XpertHR's employment law reference manual provides guidance on part-time workers and the right to request flexible working.

    Line manager briefing on handling requests for flexible working   XpertHR's line manager briefing looks at the law and best practice on the right to request flexible working.

    Right to request flexible working: model documents   XpertHR's policies and documents service provides a model policy, letters and forms.