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Commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Timewise has examined the region’s jobs market, looking at the proportion of vacancies that offer flexible working. The aim is fair access to quality flexible work - the report suggests there is some way to go.
The Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter sets a high standard for jobs in the region, promoting practices that support diversity and inclusion, and encouraging fair pay. Flexible working is a core part of the charter, and this report by Timewise looks at how well the region is doing when it comes to openly offering flexibility at the point of hire.
The answer is: very slightly better than the national average (at 27% versus 26%), but with some interesting granular differences. For example, in Greater Manchester, flexibility is most available in jobs paying over £60k. This is in sharp contrast to the UK as a whole, where flexibility (mainly in the form of part-time arrangements) has always been most available in low-paid jobs.
And home-working, which is now commonplace for office-based staff, is being offered in only 11% of the region’s job adverts.
There is a clear need for employers in Greater Manchester to do more, and faster. Flexible hiring can reach a wider talent pool – essential in today’s challenging jobs market, where applications are in short supply.
More importantly, flexible working is essential to creating fairer, more inclusive workplaces. It should need no explanation that inclusivity must start at the point of hire, and not be restricted to existing staff. Nor must it be restricted to certain types of jobs or salary levels.
We hope that the Flexible Jobs Index for Greater Manchester will inspire the region’s key anchor institutions to champion flexible hiring as part of their wider inclusive growth strategies. And we hope it will galvanise Greater Manchester employers to consider flexible working as a matter of routine when they advertise jobs – alongside salary, pension and other benefits.