When we first launched the Timewise Flexible Jobs Index five years ago, our view was that employers needed to look particularly at the higher salary bands, where the availability of flexible options at the point of recruitment was as low as 5%. This had huge implications for the career progression of flexible workers.
So it’s great to see that there’s a definite opening up at the higher
end of the payscale. However, it’s a cause
for concern that these senior level roles don’t tend to be classified as
part-time, but under the broader description of ‘flexible’. It’s unclear
whether the flexibility on offer is what people actually want; senior level
part-time roles still seem to be elusive.
Moreover, alarm bells are now ringing
for jobs in the lower salary bands, where the year on year rate of increase of
flexible jobs is very slow. The reason is that part-time still accounts for the
vast majority of flexible roles at this level, and employers are not additionally
opening up full-time jobs to flexible working more generally.
In summary, the pattern of flexibility that’s
on offer is inconsistent across the salary spectrum, with part-time work
continuing to be associated with poorer quality roles at the lower end of the
market. The flexible market is not only small, but is becoming more fragmented
in terms of types of available flexibility.
Collectively, we need to take up the challenge, and work towards
creating an inclusive flexible jobs market. One which supports key groups to
return to and stay in the workplace, by delivering the part-time and flexible
roles they want and need.
Important note: the Flexible Jobs Index now measures jobs at all salary levels, rather than ‘quality paid jobs 20k+ FTE
From 2015 to 2018, the Timewise Flexible Jobs Index reported on ‘quality’ jobs, defined as those paying more than £20k FTE. In 2019, we have decided to drop this ‘quality’ measure and instead monitor jobs at all salary levels. As we have retained much raw data from earlier years, all year-on-year comparisons made in the 2019 report are correct.
The reasons for the change are twofold:
- £20k used to be the threshold for meeting minimum income standards for parents, older people and disabled people. This quality measure is out of date – the threshold would now be higher.
- Because of wage inflation, the proportion of jobs paid less than £20k FTE is falling. As a result, the difference is now fairly insignificant, when comparing the share of flexible jobs at £20k+ (14%) versus for all jobs (15%).
Research report downloads
2019 Timewise Flexible Jobs Index
2018 Timewise Flexible Jobs Index
2017 Timewise Flexible Jobs Index
2016 Timewise Flexible Jobs Index
2015 Timewise Flexible Jobs Index