Young want flexible work

Young people are the most likely to want flexible working and the least likely to ask for it, says report. Plus other news.

Young people are the most likely to want to work flexibly but the least likely to ask for it, according to research for Working Families.
The Lifecycles: building business success through effective employment practice report, which is sponsored by UBS in association with Herbert Smith and PricewaterhouseCoopers, shows how flexible working can be used by all employees at any age and stage in their career to the benefit of both the individual and their employer.
Fourteen leading organisations took part in the research and participants were recruited from all stages of the working lifecycle. 
The report’s recommendations include the following proposals:
– that companies provide more support and training to help managers make the most of flexibility for the business and to support individuals, including themselves
– that companies make flexible working more visible so that people at all ages and stages feel it is ok to talk about it
– that it should be seen as a team approach to working so everyone can see the benefits
– that companies consider ad hoc as well as permanent forms of flexible working so people can cope with particular life stage issues.
Sarah Jackson OBE, Chief Executive of Working Families said: “This research shows that flexible working is not just a luxury add-on for economic good times but is a vital tool in organising work in a mutually beneficial way”.
Maria Bentley, Global Head of Human Resources, UBS Investment Bank said:  “We, like others, remain open minded as to how we can better support the ‘sandwich generation’ and accommodate all our employees’ needs, while also understanding how best practice in flexible working can be used as an important tool in supporting the business“.
Work stress affects baby birthweight
Work stress in the early stages of pregnancy can increase your child’s risk of being born with a low birth weight, according to research published in the American Journal of Public Health.
The research analysed questionnaires filled out by over 8,000 pregnant employees. It found women who worked more than 32 hours a week and in high stress conditions during the first trimester had an impact on the child’s birth weight.
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Attitudes to working mums ‘changing for better’
Attitudes to working mums are changing for the better, says Tatjana Hine, president of the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs
She puts much of the change down to the availability of flexible working, but says many women are looking to get round the childcare issue by starting up their own businesses.
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Companies lack talent strategy

The majority of companies are failing to exploit their talent even though they realise that this is important for their success, says a report.
Creating the Talent-Driven Business’, published by independent report provider Business Intelligence in association with the Corporate Research Forum and Taleo, shows 60% of companies have no talent strategy and only a few companies manage and develop talent properly. This is despite the fact that 78% consider linking talent and business goals as their top challenge.
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London business have problems finding talented staff

Forty per cent of businesses in London say they find it hard to find the right talent, according to a CBI / KPMG survey.
The sectors which reported the most problems with finding people with the right skills were transport, energy/manufacturing/construction and hospitality/leisure/retail.
 The report also found an enthusiasm for flexible working, with 64% of businesses offering flexible hours and 63% part-time working opportunities. 34% offer teleworking.
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Public sector job cuts predicted
The public sector will have to make 350,000 job cuts by 2014/15, according to the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development.
It forecasts a cut of over 6% in the public sector workforce to meet expected budget cutbacks in the next few years. Meanwhile, a report in Personel Today sees law experts predicting job losses of up to 10,000 in the legal profession over the next two years.
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