Imbalance in Flexible Working Opportunities

Top jobs offering flex working treble, but the market falls far short of demand for flexiible lower paid roles


5 million adverts

The latest Flexible Jobs Index analysed five million job advertisements to identify the availability of flexible work and the pay that flexible workers receive.

Job advertisements that include some mention of flexible working being feasible has trebled in the last five years, but most of the flexible working opportunities are for people in senior roles. People in earning less than £34,000 a year are still struggling to find opportunities to work with flexibility that accommodates other commitments.

Supply does not meet demand

The supply of flexible working opportunities does not meet the demand.

  • Only 15percent of vacancies are advertised with the potential to work flexibly
  • Yet, 87percent of UK workers would like the opportunity to add some flexibility to their working schedule.

People who earn more than £60,000 are more likely to have the opportunity to work flexibly.

Perceptions are incorrect

The research challenges the notion that part-time working is only for junior roles, but if people who need to work part-time are to maintain their career development those are the roles where part-time working needs to be more available.

The problem is also particularly acute for workers trying to move from very low paid part-time jobs into middle-earning part-time jobs. In other words, people get trapped in low paying part-time jobs, precisely because they need that flexibility in their jobs.

24/7 working

A global business landscape is driving the need for organisations of all types to work flexibly, and evolution of technology is making it increasingly easy for more people to balance work with other commitments.

War for Talent

If you want the talent you have to provide working opportunities that attract the people with that talent

Lynn Rattigan, EY’s Chief Operating Officer in the UK & Ireland, has said It’s positive to see that there has been a slow but increasing trend in the number of jobs offering flexible options; flexible working is a key differentiation for employers in the war for talent.

Future competitive edge

Ms Rattigan explained that with over 2,000 experienced recruits every year EY, strongly believes that to be competitive in the future, the company will need to be flexible. That’s why every one of those vacancies is open to a flexibility; it’s part of the EY culture now.

Catalyst for change

Today nominations for the 8th annual Timewise Power 50 awards open.

The Timewise Power 50 is an initiative that showcases successful flexible working across different industries and different careers.

Organised by Timewise and backed by EY, Dixons Carphone, Lloyds Banking Group and Diageo, nominations are open for 6 weeks, until Monday 4 November 2019.

The members of the Timewise Power 50 will be revealed in early 2020.

Top Down Change

We might look with despair at the disparity between the availability of part-time and flexible work opportunities and the seniority of the available opportunities, but there is a chance that there is a top down evolution happening.

The change says Fiona Cannon OBE, Group Responsible Business, Sustainability and Inclusion Director at Lloyds Banking Group is driven by a wide recognition that today’s business environment is changing dramatically, driven by changing consumer expectations, technological advancement, rapid globalisation and new societal values.

New Working Models

The only way to respond to this changing environment is by creating new models of work that have agility built in help businesses to a workforce that can adapt quickly to change.

Over 45% of people working at Lloyds Banking Group work in an agile way, and over the last three years, the bank has increased the proportion of new roles advertised with agile working arrangements from less than 10% to over 90%.

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