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UK employers deserve a pat on the back for embracing flexible working, according to a new report from the British Chambers of Commerce.
The report, Work and Life: How business is striking the right balance (PDF), provides an overview of UK companies’ efforts to meet the work/life balance needs of employees.
Some 89 per cent of the businesses surveyed provide employees with some form of flexible working. Almost three-quarters offer part time working, 69 per cent offer variable working hours and 38 per cent offer the ability to work from home.
As a result of offering flexible working, 71 per cent of employers believe that there has been "some improvement" or a "significant improvement" in employee relations.
The study highlighted an assumption among politicians from across the political spectrum that business has to be forced to be flexible through regulation.
"This report clearly shows how disconnected politicians are from the reality of UK workplaces," said Sally Low, director of policy and external affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce.
"Business is well ahead of the current debate. The overwhelming majority of respondents to our survey are embracing flexiblity because they understand clearly the benefits to their employees, and are reporting improvements in employee relations, staff retention and productivity."