Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Right to Request Flexible Working- It’s Finally Here!

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The legislation is officially coming into force today, 30th June 2014. Woohoo!

It’s finally here! UK employees now have the right to request flexible working after 26 weeks’ service, rather than only those with children under the age of 17 (or 18 if the child is disabled) and those with other caring responsibilities.

But what does this really mean? Here are a few of your top questions answered:

What counts as flexible working?

Many different modes of working can be described as flexible employment. These include:

Job sharing: This usually means two people being employed in the same role and job and splitting the hours.

Working from home: This is when the employee does some (or all) of the work from home or anywhere else other than the normal place of work.

Part time: This refers to any arrangement involving working less than full-time hours (usually by working fewer days).

Compressed hours: This means working full-time hours but over fewer days than normal.

Flexitime: The employee chooses when to start and end work (within agreed limits). Usually, the employee will have previously agreed ‘core hours’.

Annualised hours: The employee is required to undertake a certain number of hours over the year but they have some flexibility about when they work.

Staggered hours: The employee has different start, finish and break times from other workers.

Phased retirement: Now that the previous default retirement age has been phased out, older workers have more choice over their employment. This means that they might reduce their hours or work part-time.

Does the new flexible working legislation guarantee that I can work flexibly?

No, as there are reasons that your employer can use to turn down your request for flexible. However, in rejecting your request they must provide

For what reasons can my employer turn down my request for flexible working?

There are several reasons why your employer may turn down your request for flexible working. For example:

  • Implementing flexible working may involve extra costs which would be detrimental to the business
  • Flexibility would not allow the business to meet customer demand
  • It is not possible for the work to be reorganised among other staff
  • It is not possible for people to be recruited to do the work
  • Flexible working arrangements would have an effect on quality and performance
  • There is insufficient work to do during the proposed working times
  • The business is in the process of planning changes to the workforce

Where should  I go to get more information on flexible working?

If you require more information on these changes go to GOV.UK, or ACAS.

If you’re looking for a new flexible role, sign up to Flexiworkforce today!

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Happy Flexi Day!

 

 

Entrepreneurs- Take Time to Recharge Your Batteries This Summer!

A new report has revealed that third of entrepreneurs are guilty of taking no time off over the summer!

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If you run your own business then more than likely, you’ll be familiar with entrepreneurial burnout- that feeling of exhaustion and overhwelm that seems to creep up after a busy period. Entrepreneurs are only human, meaning that even the most workaholic of CEOs sometimes need a break!

Shockingly, research provided by Sage reveals that last year up to a third of entrepreneurs took no time off for a break over the summer.

Work/life balance is something that more and more of us strive for, and yet, very very entrepreneurs consider themselves to be successful in balancing their business with family life and other commitments. Your business may be your life, but it shouldn’t take over your life!

There are many reasons why you should make time for holidays. Regular breaks from work will give your body and mind a well-deserved rest. A break will provide you with perspective, time to think and time to bond with your family. Going on holiday will allow your to return to your business feeling refreshed and more ready to take on challenging projects. A holiday may even give you time to come up with your next big idea!

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Before you go…

Make sure that you are able to delegate responsibilities before you leave for your holiday, to ensure that your staff have plenty to work on while you are away. Set targets and measure their productivity by what they achieve in your absence.

What about remote working??

At Flexiworkforce, we are fully aware of the benefits that remote working can bring to a business. Having the ability to communicate with anyone in the world at the touch of a button is nothing short of incredible. However, take care not to let your summer holiday turn into an extended business meeting! Check your emails a maximum of once per day, replying only to those that warrant your immediate attention. As for the rest, they can wait! Try to keep Skype meetings to a minimum .

Best Holidays for Entrepreneurs

A Spa Break

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What could be more revitalizing than some true R&R in a beautiful spa environment. This kind of holiday will be beneficial for mind and body, meaning that you will be sure to return to work in a calm and zen-like state! Try new treatments like mud wraps and botanical facials . Embark upon a detox programme and have soothing massages to melt away your entrepreneurial stresses!

The Great Outdoors

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Although the idea of leaving the metropolis might be scary to some city slickers, the countryside offers a unique sense tranquility that will no doubt be beneficial to your frazzled nerves. Life in the country forces us to slow down and enjoy operating at a slower pace. Make your holiday truly unforgettable by trying crazy new extreme sports mountain unicycling or perhaps even zorbing!

European Adventure

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If you’re more of a culture vulture, pack your bags and head to a quaint European city like Prague, or Tallinn. Experiencing new cultures is always great for inspiring new ideas, while allowing you to leave the daily grind of the office. If you like to always be busy, pack in a lot of galleries, exhibitions and museums, and by the time you return to work you will really feel as though you’ve some time away from your everyday life!

Happy Holidays, Entrepreneurs!

Does Your CV Need a Makeover?

5 Steps to a Total Resume Overhaul!

 

1.) Ditch your Old Style 

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It can be hard to let go of the past, but if you want to make employers see your skills and expertise in a new light, you have to shake things up a bit! If your current CV looks dated and uninspiring, bin it and start from scratch. Starting afresh will give you the perspective that you need to realise your key attributes, and the  best way to present them to an employer.

2.) Back to Basics- Then Build Up! 

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Make sure that you have the basics right! This is never more true than when a potential job is at stake. Make sure that your contact details are correct and up-to-date. Also, make sure to choose recent references if you include this on your CV.

3.) Highlight Your Best Features 

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Often when building a CV, we are encouraged to stick to the traditional chronological model. However, there is nothing to stop you from putting your most relevant experience and most notable achievements at the beginning of your CV. Studies have shown that we are most likely to remember detail at the beginning and end of a document. Therefore, details that are less relevant should be relegated the the middle section of your CV or, indeed, left out altogether.

4.) Embellish and Dazzle!

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Style isn’t every thing when it comes to CVs but it certainly helps! Make sure you use an appropriate but stylish font (no Comic Sans!). Be clever with space so as not to exceed two sides of A4 paper, but try to avoid making your CV overcrowded. For more advice on how to make your CV look as professional as possible, click here.

5.) Show Off Your New Look 

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Remember to update your online profiles to match your improved CV. Many employers Google candidates before or after an interview, and social media is now crucial to personal branding. If you have an online profile or personal website, upload your new CV. Similarly, be sure to update your LinkedIn profile.

What Mary Portas’ ‘Silver Service’ Can Teach Us About 50+ Workers

Older Candidates Must Not Be ‘Written Off’ By Employers!

On Wednesday 11th, Channel 4 aired a new programme hosted by fashion broadcaster and retail consultant Mary Portas, Silver Service. In the past, Portas has expressed dissatisfaction at the the lack confidence that modern society has on the older generation, who she believes possess a lifetime of skills and experience that any employer would benefit from.

Unfortunately, however, this invaluable talent pool remains sorely underutilised. A tragic 30% of over 65s believe that they serve no purpose to society. And with ageism rife within the workforce, older workers often have a hard time getting into jobs that they are deemed ‘overqualified’ for, others feel forced to retire before they’re ready.

In an attempt to break down barriers, Portas devises a pop-up employment agency, with the aim of providing skilled older people with fulfilling, paid roles. She then provides mentoring to the team of worthy candidates she enlists,  Gloria, aged 71, Robert, aged 82,  John, aged 81, and Maureen, aged 73, and Annie, aged 77. The result is a valuable opportunity to show employers (and society in general) that the skills and know-how of older individuals should not be underestimated.

It is evident that the confidence of the 60+ candidates has been boosted by their experiences: ‘I haven’t past my sell by date by any means!’ remarks one woman.

Mary Portas’ Silver Service is not the first of its kind to be aired on Channel 4. Last September saw the Fabulous Fashionistas redefine the notion of ‘ageing gracefully’, proving that older people are just as valid and indispensable as their younger counterparts. The message is loud and clear- The older generation are skilled, experienced and feisty, and most certainly should never be written off by employers!

A Modern Retirement- Working to Live or Living to Work?

How flexible Working is Altering the Way We See Retirement

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Around the world, 1 in 8 workers believe that they will never be affluent enough to fully retire from employment.

Within the UK the average 50-year-old intends to retire at the age of 61.5 years, having paid off their mortgage at 58.5. However, for many, this aspiration is unrealistic. In 2012, it was estimated that around 1.3 million people of retirement age were still in work. Similarly bleak studies have shown that many older workers are not convinced that their pension plan will allow them to live comfortably in retirement.

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But perhaps it is necessary to rethink this situation. It should not be assumed that retirement aged workers continue working solely for the income their job provides. For others, their career provides them with fulfilment and satisfaction. That is, many employees over fifty are living to work, rather than working to live. Flexibility, key to maintaining a balance between life and work, is all the more necessary when one approaches retirement age.

Others may choose to volunteer their time; working for a cause they are committed to Jim Finnie, 61 from Perth spends his time volunteering as an adult literacy tutor, an opportunity which he finds extremely fulfilling:

“I feel that working as a volunteer adult literacy tutor is hugely rewarding. You tailor tuition and learning to learners’ preferences and the biggest buzz comes from witnessing them develop their skills and confidence from evident and measurable progress. To an extent you have a “captive” market as they’ve taken the hardest step of accepting they have development needs and they’ve come forward but they quickly see that learning can be so different from the traditional school environment which in all probability failed them. Learning can be great fun and learners always turn up for sessions expressing the sort of gratitude that is invariably lacking in paid work. Everyone has the potential to be literate. It just might take a different way, or a bit longer, to unlock it!”

For the ‘Millennial’ generation, with uncertain financial prospects, it is certain that the average age retirement will be pushed back later and later. Many may never fully retire. As average life-expectancy continues to increase worldwide, the multi-generational workforce will become increasingly diverse, with older workers being highly sought after for their skills and experience.

Flexibility should be the goal for over fifties aiming to retain their independence, or perhaps even strike out on a new career path, without having to endure the taxing demands of a full-time career or conventional working hours.