Millions in UK can work flexible hours under new rules

Millions in UK can work flexible hours under new rules

Posted on 03 Jul 2014 Views ( 1608 )

Under new rules that could boost the economy, now millions of employees in the UK will enjoy flexible hours of work, including working from home.

Jo Swinson, the employment relations minister, opinioned that the changes would boost the UK economy with happier employees.

As per the new rules, 20 million privileged employees across the nation got the privilege to ask for flexible hours, including working from home. With this change, millions are going to take the advantage of the changes and employers will be obliged to consider requests reasonably.

Till now, only 10 million employees and parents with other caring duties have had the right to request flexible working.

In an interview to The Independent, Swinson said: “Sometimes, because this has been a right to request that only parents have had, that can create, in some workplaces, a bit of tension when parents get special treatment.”

She said with the new rules which involve compressed hours and staggered hours, individuals can do five days’ work in four days and can avoid the stresses of working from home or rush hour.

She also said that Employers often find that this leads to employees being less likely to leave and much more productive and motivated. So that cuts down their staff recruitment costs. It really can be a win-win,” the Liberal Democrat minister said.

“You get staff that are happy and more productive and the employers benefit from that as well. And lots of businesses are very positive about this; in a British Chambers of Commerce survey, 70 percent of businesses reported an improvement in employee relations when they used flexible working.

“We live in a globalised society; we have technology which enables us to be doing work not just from physically being there at the workplace but actually doing so at different times of the day and from different places.

“And rather than it staying stuck in a 1950s mind-set that being at work is about physically being somewhere and it’s about long hours and that ‘presenteeism’ culture, actually it’s about achieving what you’re supposed to do in your job and doing that in the most effective way,” she said.

Swinson acknowledged that there would be some sectors, such as retail, where flexible working would not be practical.

But she added: “A large amount of evidence that shows flexible working is beneficial for the economy. Neil Carberry, the CBI director for employment and skills, said business welcomed the new rules but added: “It’s important to remember that the work still needs to be done, so businesses will have to manage conflicting requests effectively and they retain the right to say no where the company just can’t make it work.”