The Workers Union is calling for an ‘improved package of flexible working’ for British workers.
The announcement came after a report commissioned by Sir Robert McAlpine and flexible working champions Mother Pukka, revealed that flexible working gave the UK’s economy an annual boost of £37bn. “Flexonomics” also found that increasing flexible working by a further 50% could yield a net economic gain of £55bn and create 51,200 jobs in the process.
The report classes true flexible working as an environment that allows employees to meet their needs, rather than just option home working. It argues that refusing to grant flexible working requests has negative effects on productivity and the morale of employees. Finally, it draws attention to the link between absence and flexible working, revealing that companies who offer the same suffer from far fewer employee absences.
A spokesperson for The Workers Union said: ‘This organisation has long supported a root and branch reform of flexible working. To create truly modern workplaces, British businesses must provide working conditions that accommodate the multiple demands on today’s employees. This means flexible start and finish times, shift swapping or working from home options where appropriate.’
The Workers Union on Flexible Working
In another era, the idea of flexible working would have attracted scorn, if it attracted any attention at all. Men went to work, to put “steam” on the table for their families, and women stayed at home to raise the children and keep house.
It would be stating the obvious to say that this model has been dead for some time. Now men and women juggle jobs with parental duties, while the rhythms of the 24-hour economy create working patterns unknown to our ancestors.
In this rapidly evolving context, workers need to know that their employees are ready, willing and able to offer them the flexibility they need to juggle their work/life balance effectively. They cannot give their best if they cannot choose a way of working that enables them to fulfil their obligations without risking burnout.
This organisation has always stood up for the right to claim flexible working – and will continue to do so. Now it is up to business and legislators to listen to the growing clamour of voices arguing for a new deal for British workers.
The Workers Union – fighting for social justice, fighting for you