This article has been submitted by Peter Lynn and Partners
With the school year back up and running, there are many parents who are looking to return to the workplace on a flexible basis and to work around school hours.
Whilst many businesses may be unable to accommodate this type of working, more and more companies are seeing the benefit of providing flexible working arrangements to tap in to the pool of skilled and experienced parents looking to return to the workplace.
Existing staff can benefit too and whilst there is no mandatory requirement to grant flexible working, parents of children aged 16 and under (disabled children under 18) and carers of adults who have been employed for a period of 26 weeks have the right to apply to work flexibly. Applications need to be made in a specific format detailing what arrangement the employee wants to propose and how they feel it would fit in with the needs of the business. Crucially, however, there is no requirement on the employer to accept all requests, but they must consider these applications reasonably and fairly.
There are many different forms of flexible working, from homeworking, part-time working, flexi-time, job sharing and shift-working, plus many other flexi-working options, so establishing the practice that works best for your business can benefit all concerned.
Employees who work flexibly often have a greater sense of responsibility, ownership and control of their working lives, where an employee is likely to feel more able to focus on their work and to develop their career. Absenteeism and sickness leave could also decrease.
Customers can also benefit, as flexible working potentially allows your business to operate under new hours, enabling better access to your products and services.
To discuss a flexible working scheme that can benefit your business, contact our HR specialists Stuart Atherton and Nia Godsmark on 01792 450010 or email [email protected]