Workers face ‘flexclusion’ due to lack of advertised flexi jobs

Despite mass homeworking during the pandemic, the number of jobs advertised as flexible has only gone up by five per cent since last year with some of these only temporary work from home roles, according to a new survey.

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Four out of five of the new jobs being advertised since the pandemic offer no flexible working options, say flexible working experts Timewise.

It has analysed more than six million job vacancies and found 78 per cent of jobs advertised make no reference to any type of flexible working or anything other than full-time, workplace-only roles.

It says that means the proportion of job vacancies in the UK which offer flexible options rose to just 22 per cent during the first national lockdown, an increase of just five per centage points from 2019, when the rate was 17 per cent.

Yet the numbers of people working from home rose from six per cent to 43 per cent in late March 2020, with levels dropping back to 37 per cent by June.

Timewise isolated a small sub-sample of 1,000 job adverts which do offer homeworking and also referenced the pandemic. More than half indicated these roles will revert to the office when possible, suggesting that some of the flexibility on offer to candidates right now is just short term. 

Timewise warns that a widening gap between working reality and what job vacancies offer means rising inequalities will be compounded and fears those who need flexible working face being excluded from the race to find new jobs.

Timewise CEO Emma Stewart, MBE says: “The outlook for all jobseekers is stark, but for those needing to work flexibly it is even worse. Women, carers, older workers & those with health concerns are currently at the greatest risk of becoming ‘flexcluded’ from work, as new ways of working fail to be reflected in employers’ recruitment advertising. We are calling on employers to simply adopt the same approach for job seekers as they are currently taking with employees, and to say so in job adverts. Whether offering remote working, or part time hours, or staggered start and finish times. We have a real opportunity as we rebuild the economy to finally create a level playing field for the millions for whom flex is now both a necessity and an expectation.”



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