On 30th June, a major change will hit UK employers, allowing all employees with at least 26 weeks service to put in an application for flexible working. Prior to this new rule, the right to request flexible working was only open to employees with caring responsibilities for children or an adult dependant. With this imminent HR change recognising the benefits of a more rounded workforce, Glassdoor set out to offer insight into how many employees intend to take advantage of this, along with how it will impact employees, employers and the workplace.
The Glassdoor 2014 UK Flexible Working Survey found that nearly one in five employees (17%) intend to submit or resubmit an application to request flexible working, rising to nearly a quarter (24%) among those 16-24 years old. Of all regions, Wales is the highest, with over a third (34%) of the region intending to submit an application.
Meantime, three in four (73%) GB employees admit they’re unaware of the changing law. In the East of England, this was as high as 82%, with Yorkshire (35%), followed by North West (34%) as regions that are most aware of the changing law. Forty four percent of 16-24 year olds are aware of the change, with the lowest age range being 35-44 year olds (21%).
Plus, half of GB employees, employed either full-time or part-time, report already working flexibly. This number rises to 68% for 16-24 year olds, and 59% for those aged 55+. More women (56%) than men (45%) already work flexibly and on a regional basis, flexible working is most prevalent in the North East, where three in five (60%) employees work flexibly. Fifty percent of employees also report that they feel they would work better if they were to work flexibly.
So why do some employees have no intentions of submitting an application to work flexibly? Eight percent of GB employees who do not intend to submit an application for flexible working feel that if they do so, it will reflect badly on them. Sixteen percent of the 16-24 age group report that they just don’t want to bother their boss or employer.
Do you work flexibly? What is your employer like when it comes to accommodating employees who want to work flexibly? How would you rate the work/life balance at your company? Help others know what it’s like to work at your company by sharing a review.
This survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor among more than 2,000 employees within Great Britain from 28th May-2nd June, 2014.