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Read more articles in: Amanda Hyam, Employment Law

Flexible working is a key factor for working parents

Around 80 per cent of working parents are more likely to apply for a role with flexible arrangements, according to a new poll.

It also found that more than half would consider quitting their job to move to one offering greater flexibility.

From an employer’s point of view, the YouGov poll, commissioned by Working Families and SF Recruitment, shows that advertising roles with flexible options widen the job pool.

Working Families is the UK’s national charity for working parents and carers whose mission is to remove the barriers that people with caring responsibilities face in the workplace.

Letter appeal to employers

The poll was launched to mark the start of National Work Life Week from 10-14 October, and the survey contacted 992 UK parents of children aged 18 and under.

It came as National Work Life Week also released a joint letter from over 20 of its employer members ­­­– several of whom are in the FTSE 100 – and committed to advertising all roles with flexible options by default, calling on other UK employers to do the same.

The poll research found that:

  • Only 31 per cent of parents would be likely to apply for a role that did not list flexible working.
  • Ninety per cent of unemployed parents would be likely to apply for a role that listed flexible options.
  • Pay at 73 per cent was the top priority, but flexibility was a close second at 66 per cent. For mothers, flexibility and pay are tied as the top priority.
  • Three out of 10 surveyed and currently in work said that despite their jobs being below their skill level, they offered greater flexibility.
  • 46 per cent of those surveyed work in place-based roles and cannot work remotely.

The joint letter to employers says: “The pandemic has ushered in a new era of work, and one thing is clear: the future is flexible. As leading employers, we embrace this evolution.

“Because we understand the far-reaching benefits of flexible working, each one of us has committed to advertising all of our vacant roles with flexible options by default. Not only is this change necessary; we believe it’s vital to creating a more inclusive, robust workforce.”

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