Line managers the priority for embedding flexible working

Working Families’s benchmarking exercise has found that 42% of employers found lack of line manager knowledge or skill was a barrier to implementing flexible working.

Flexible Working

 

Training for line managers has emerged as one of the most pressing needs for organisations trying to implement flexible working, according to a Working Families benchmarking exercise.

The exercise captured the experience of nearly 500,000 UK employees found that 42% of organisations said lack of line manager knowledge or skill was a barrier to creating a family friendly, flexible workplace.

It also found that, on average, only a tiny proportion of senior leaders work flexibly or part time (less than 7%) with the majority of these being women (5%). Working Families says this suggests that creating more flexible working opportunities at a senior level could help reduce gender inequalities around pay and progression.

The questions came as part of the awards process which is based on Working Families’ Benchmark and involves employers being scored on four key areas to build a comprehensive picture of their flexible and family-friendly policies and practices that specifically support mothers, fathers and carers.

These are:

– integration to organisational strategy and culture – which looks at culture, attitude and how far flexible and family-friendly working practices have become embedded;

– policy – which looks at the creation, development and deployment of flexible and family-friendly working policies and their take-up;

– consistent practice – which considers how well flexible and family-friendly working is supported; and

– evidence and statistics – which looks at the effects of flexible and family-friendly working on the organisation, and their ability to understand those effects.

The top employers are:

American Express

Citigroup

Crown Prosecution Service

Grant Thornton

Independent Living Fund Scotland

Natwest Group (RBS)

North East London NHS Foundation Trust

Pinsent Masons

Welsh Parliament (Senedd Cymru)

Yorkshire Building Society

Jane van Zyl, CEO of Working Families, said: “As we finally move out of the reactive state the pandemic has put us all in, we know that more and more people will be prioritising wellbeing and flexible working when choosing their next employer. In fact, this summer 69% of parents told us they would apply for a job advertised as flexible over one that is not. It has never been clearer that for a business to attract the brightest and best talent, visibly championing flexible and family-friendly practices is absolutely key. And to see how it’s done, you need look no further than our fantastic Top Employers 2021.”



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