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96 per cent of employers now allow flexible working

A new survey from the CBI and recruitment firm Harvey Nash has found that 96 per cent of employers now allow at least one form of flexible working.

The research also found that 70 per cent offer three or more types of flexible working. These include working at home, part-time hours, term-time working, job-sharing, flexi-time and more.

Employers reported a range of benefits to implementing flexible working initiatives – three-quarters said that it enhanced employee relations, 61 per cent said recruitment and retention was improved, 37 per cent reported boosted productivity and 38 per cent said absence rates dropped.

However, some employers did express concern about the Government’s proposals to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees. Businesses said they were concerned about the issues that could arise from competing requests and called for clear Government guidance on their obligations.

John Cridland, CBI director-general, commented, “Flexible working has been a success story, but firms are still wary about the Government’s plans to extend the right to request to everyone. Companies are most concerned about having to choose between competing requests. The Government must provide clear guidance to help employers balance requests fairly.”

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