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Why aren't more employers offering flexible jobs?
Tuesday 9 November, 2021: Nearly three quarters of UK job vacancies make no reference to flexible working possibilities, say social business & flexible working experts Timewise following unique analysis of more than 5 million job vacancies1.
At present, job vacancies are at their highest level since official records began in 20012 – yet the portion of jobs offering flexible options has grown by just 4 percentage points from 20203, representing a huge missed opportunity to recruit by employers. At present, half the UK’s employees work flexibly in some form4 and 9 in 10 people say they want flexibility in their next job5. Just over 1 in 4 UK jobs are advertised with flexible working options (26 per cent)6. Meaning that people who need flexibility effectively cannot apply for 3 out of every 4 vacancies on the market.
Timewise has produced an annual snapshot of the UK labour market since 2015, to see if the portion of jobs advertised with flexible options is rising, what kind of jobs are being offered with flex and at what kind of salary level. Vacancies are filtered using 17 keywords relating to different forms of flexible working, for example: ‘remote working’, ‘home working’ and ‘part-time’.
From the report, Flexible Jobs Index 2021 from 00:01 on Tuesday 9 November are:
|PART-TIME||HOME-WORKING||CATCH-ALL TERM ‘FLEXIBLE WORKING’|
Timewise co-founder Emma Stewart MBE comments: “The way that employers are advertising jobs ignores the biggest shake-up of work seen in a generation. We know that candidates do not want to raise the question; we believe they shouldn’t have to. In the post-pandemic, post-Brexit employment market, where vacancies far outstrip candidate supply, thousands of skilled candidates won’t move until they see that a job clearly offers flexible working from day one. With more than 3 million people still economically inactive due to caring or health reasons, employers are missing out on attracting a wider pool of talent they desperately need7.”
Lynn Rattigan, Chief Operating Officer at EY says: “Timewise’s latest research shows that UK businesses have a real opportunity to attract sought-after talent, particularly at a time when vacancies are at their highest. EY has championed flexible working for many years and all of our vacancies in the UK are advertised as being open to flexibility.”
“The experience of the pandemic has also brought new perspectives and, like many organisations, we’ve been assessing the impact of changing work patterns on how, when and where our people work. That’s why we have introduced a new hybrid working model, enabling our people to split their time between their home, office and client site as appropriate. We believe this will maximise the benefits of both in-person collaboration and flexible remote working for our people and clients.”
Danny Harmer, Chief People Officer, Aviva says: “Offering flexible roles is essential to attract the very best, and most diverse, workforce so it’s good business sense. Flexible roles also support people with life’s changing demands so they can contribute, for example, to their families and communities while progressing their careers, which is great for society too.”
Fiona Cannon, Group Sustainable Business Director, Lloyds Banking Group says: “At Lloyds Banking Group, we have taken a pro-active approach to agile working and recruitment for many years now and over 93% of our jobs offer a flexible option. The pandemic has accelerated our progress to become a more agile, collaborative, and inclusive organisation. This is helping us to attract new and diverse talent which will help us to meet the changing needs of our customers.”
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Jo Burkill:
Timewise (timewise.co.uk) are flexible working specialists running a flexible working consultancy that helps employers design innovative solutions to attract and retain talented people, and create fair workplaces.
The consultancy is part of a wider multi-award winning social enterprise, that shares market insights on flexible working and flexible hiring, conducts research and runs campaigns and advocates for change on the stigma surrounding part-time and flexible work. It also runs Timewise Jobs (timewisejobs.co.uk ), a national jobs board for roles that are part-time or open to flexibility.
 ONS data for May-July 2021