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Flexible working is a growing priority for employees, finds research


Flexible working hours are more important than money for nearly a third of people looking for a new job according to a survey by with the Department of Trade and Industry’s Work-Life Balance campaign.

– Almost half of the respondents (46%) chose flexible working as the benefit they would most look for in their next job, with only 1 in 14 (7%) choosing gym membership and 1 in 10 (10%) opting for a company car;

– A third of them would prefer the opportunity to work flexible hours rather than receive #1,000 more pay per year;

– 7 in 10 (68%) jobseekers would like the chance to work more flexibly when necessary;

– 8 in 10 (77%) parents with children under 6 said that work-life balance is an important factor in deciding whether to apply for a new job;

– six out of ten workers view work-life balance as an important factor in assessing a potential new job.

The DTI is aiming to raise awareness about the new family friendly employment rights, which start on 6 April 2003. Employers will have to seriously consider requests from parents with young or disabled children to work more flexibly. More informatio is also available from TIGER, the Tailored Interactive Guidance on Employment Rights.

Trade and Industry Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, has also launched an enhanced Acas helpline service specially geared to give help and guidance about the new rights and other employment matters to both employers and parents. The new national number is 08457 47 47 47.

Ms Hewitt said:

“New Year is when many people start shopping for their next job, but increasingly people want more from work than the usual package. The best businesses are already switched on to this and are using flexible working policies to attract and retain the people they need in the war for talent.

“This poll shows that getting a better work-life balance is becoming much more important for all employees – men as much as women – and the competitive advantages business gains from offering flexible working are now well established.

“The new employment rights will be a major step forward in helping businesses hold onto good staff and help millions of working parents balance work and childcare. I urge both employers and employees to call the helpline to find out how they can make these changes work for business.”

Other key findings in the poll were:

– Less than 2 in 10 (18%) jobseekers would happily work much longer hours for more money

– 4 in 10 (43%) men chose flexible working as the benefit they would most look for in a new job, compared with just 13% who would look for company car and only 7% who would look for gym membership

– 45% of undergraduates or recent graduates would prefer flexibility in hours to a company car (14%) or gym membership (4%)

– Nearly a quarter (24%) of managers/ directors said that work-life balance was an extremely important factor in deciding whether to apply for a new job

– 4 in 10 (37%) women chose flexible working over #1000 more pay per year, compared to 3 in 10 (27%) men

One Response

  1. Employee reward
    I am currently stuyding for my CIPD and could use some advice on how organisations own reward policies support the following:

    * the acheivement of the business strategies
    * are integrated with other P&D strategies
    * are equitable and fair

    Any suggestions would be appreciated on how best to answer this question.

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