CIPD to co-chair Flexible Working Task Force

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development will co-chair the Government’s new Flexible Working Task Force.

The task force has been established by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to promote flexible work and working practices, bringing together policy-makers, employer groups, Unions and employee representative groups, research groups and professional bodies.

The CIPD says the uptake of most types of flexible working by employees has largely plateaued over the last decade, despite the right to request being available to all. It says: “The task force will therefore work to understand the reasons behind this, clarify the benefits of flexible working for individuals and organisations across the many different options and practices, and develop the evidence and understanding as to the most effective ways to increase the provision and support.”

The task force will draw together action plans and recommendations with the intention of increasing flexible working opportunities, and will also feed directly into the evaluation of the effectiveness of the Right to Request Flexible Working Regulations in 2019. One step is to promote advertising all jobs as flexible from day one.

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD and co-chair of the Flexible Working Task Force, said: “Our research shows that the main obstacles to employers providing flexible working arrangements include a lack of understanding and support amongst line managers and business leaders, and long engrained working cultures of presenteeism and tradition of standard working hours. There is much to learn from those employers whose flexible working practices are more inclusive and who are already seeing the benefits of a diverse, flexible and more engaged workforce.”

The other members of the Task Force are: ACAS, Age UK, Carers UK, the CBI, the Chartered Management Institute, the Department of Health and Social Care, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Federation Of Small Businesses, the Government Equalities Office, HM Treasury, Timewise Foundation, the Trades Union Congress and Working Families. The Task Force will shortly announce ways in which other bodies can feed into the work it is doing.

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