It’s the eve of the referendum of Scottish independence, and in the run up to the event, Flexiworkforce CEO and founder Tracey Eker has been meeting with politicians from both sides of the the campaign in order to discuss the ways in which flexible working will be of benefit to Scotland both within the UK or as an independent state.
First the Flexiworkforce team met John Mason, a Scottish Nationalist and member of the Scottish Parliament who sits on the Committee for Equal Opportunities. Secondly, we met with Liberal Democrat MP for East Dunbartonshire Jo Swinson, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Employment Relations.
“It was great to meet with representatives from both factions” Tracey Eker stated, “It enabled us to gain a balanced view of how flexible working would be advantageous to Scotland’s future, whether it may be within the Union, or as an independent country.”
From a political perspective, the benefits of flexible working are numerous, and include:
- Flexible working may help to alleviate the ongoing skills shortage, in that in-demand professionals who have previously left the workforce may be brought back in on a part-time, flexible basis
- Flexible working will improve diversity and equal opportunities within organisations ranging from SMEs to large corporates companies, by improving inclusion of groups such as women, the over 50s and those with disabilities or mental health issues.
- The result of this will ultimately be a decrease in overall unemployment.
- Increased flexible working may also help to decrease working poverty, in that increased transparency in job ads will enable individuals to access work appropriate to their skills level, therefore, freeing up minimum wage roles for other job seekers.
- Increased flexible working may decrease unemployment unemployment ‘portfolio’ workers who work several roles simultaneously. This form of working is especially prevalent in the ‘Gen Y‘ demographic, in which unemployment is high.
Therefore, whatever the result of the Referendum, we hope that the trend towards flexible working continues, whether Scotland votes for independence, or continues to be part of the Union, in order to bridge inequality, solve the skills shortage and make our society fairer.