Flexible working

Flexible working : good business

Employers in the UK are offering a wide range of working patterns to increasing numbers of staff. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) published survey research - Work and Life: How business is striking the right balance - which paints a vivid picture of the extent of flexiblity offered by employers. The findings indicate that in many instances businesses are working flexibly, not just offering part-time working (72% of respondents) or variable working hours (69%) but also the opportunity to work from home (38%).

Employers in the UK use many different kinds of flexible working:

  • Part-time working: work is generally considered part-time when employees are contracted to work for anything less than full-time hours
  • Term-time working: a worker remains on a permanent contract but can take paid or unpaid leave during school holidays
  • Job-sharing: this is a form of part-time working where two (or occasionally more) people share the responsibility for a job between them
  • Flexitime: flexitime allows employees to choose, within certain set limits, when to begin and when to end work
  • Compressed hours: compressed working weeks or fortnights don't necessarily involve a reduction in total hours or any extension in individual choice over which hours are worked
  • Annual hours: the period within which full-time employees must work is defined over a whole year
  • Working from home: workers regularly spend time working from home
  • Mobile working/teleworking: this permits employees  to work all or part of their working week at a location remote from the employer's workplace
  • Career breaks: career breaks, or sabbaticals, are extended periods of leave - normally unpaid - of up to five years, or more.
Source : CIPD/The British Chambers of Commerce

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