Tag Archives: UK

Whatever Tomorrow’s Outcome, Flexibility is the Future!

flexiwork

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.

Vote for Flexible working!

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Is Your Work ‘School for Grown Ups’?

Productivity and choice vs. Arbitrary Rules and Regulations

bored
Work is, essentially, school for grown ups. At least, that is the view of entrepreneur Emma Sexton, who swapped the 9-5 for running her own business.
In a recent Guardian article, she explains how her lack of faith in ‘unnecessary rules’ lead her to seek a more results oriented work life, in which productivity counts for more than doggedly sticking to conventional office hours and regulations:

‘It involves a number of other unnecessary rules, such as getting exactly 23.5 days holiday per year. What? How dare you tell me how much time off from work I can have. Do you own me?’

Frustrated by the system, Emma resorted to leaving her job in order to run her own business. While this may seem an extreme measure, Emma’s decision reflects a dilemma faced by countless individuals, disillusioned by arbitrary rules, and employers who do not allow them the freedom of working in more agile manner. ‘I am now in the second year of having my own business and working harder than ever. Yet the freedom to make up my own rules is incredible’, she states.

Sexton is, by no means, alone in her experiences. Flexiworkforce founder and CEO Tracey Eker is another example of an entrepreneur who left conventional work behind in favour of a more agile, results-oriented work life.

The issue is not one which can simply be ignored. With over a third of UK employees expressing a desire for a more agile routine, the need and desire for flexible working, involving freedom, choice and trust does not appear to be going away any time soon.

It is unfair to imply that employers are backward in their attitudes to work. A majority of UK companies offer flexible working for their staff on request. However, these forward-thinking employers must be more transparent and upfront, in order to be honest about the extent

Nevertheless, employers’ attitudes are changing rapidly, as more and more discover the true benefits that trusting relationships with agile employees bring to their business. From greater efficiency to better staff retention, trusting your employees to work like adults will only be beneficial to business!

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

Excited Happy animated GIF

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!

leonardo dicaprio animated GIF

Happy Flexi Day!

 

 

Changes to UK Flexible Working Legislation in June 2014

What Employees Need to Know

source: miguel-co.com

You may have heard about the upcoming changes to employment in the UK. Currently, only parents of children aged 16 or under, or disabled children under the age of eighteen have the right to apply to work more flexibly.  Furthermore, they are only able to make this request after having worked for their employer for 26 weeks continuously before making the application, must not have made another application to work flexibly under the right during the past 12 months.

However, as of the 30th of June 2014, all UK employees will gain 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.

Flexiworkforce is set to launch soon, and will be one of the few UK online jobsites specifically dedicated to matching workers with exciting opportunities to fit flexibly around their needs and life commitments. Follow us today for updates!

Cocaine- the New Caffeine?

Now I would be lying if I said I don’t need a quick fix first thing in the morning in the shape of a good old cup of joe. But how many of us rely on substances of the illegal variety to supply us with the energy to get through the day?

Studies frequently reveal that the UK has the highest cocaine use in Europe, and in recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the numbers of women indulging in the drug.

The ongoing high-profile dispute between Nigella Lawson and her ex-husband Charles Saatchi has raised questions about the nature of drug use in middle-class women. The controversial case seems to have exacerbated fears that outwardly successful highly-motivated women are resorting to using class A drugs in order to maintain their busy lifestyles.

Headlines inform us that middle-class women are in the grip of an alarming epidemic in cocaine use. While some may dismiss this as sensationalist journalism, it is undeniable that the number seeking NHS help for addiction to the Class A drug has leapt by 50 per cent in two years.

The areas most affected by this new trend are the traditional ‘home counties’ surrounding London. These are the areas in which officers issue the most cautions for cocaine possession to women. It is no surprise that these areas are home to many high-flying professionals who rely on cocaine to fuel their demanding careers in the City. Cocaine has become easier and cheaper in the past decade. However, it has retained some of its ‘glamorous’ connotations. It seems as though cocaine has gone from being to a vice of the rich and famous to a quick fix for busy middle-class workers.

The motivation behind the decision to use cocaine is twofold: the drug may be relied on by high-achieving workers to help achieve the results they need. Alternatively, cocaine has become a popular fix, allowing solvent individuals to maintain high energy levels at parties and social gatherings. The result is that it has gained unprecedented social acceptability within middle-class professional circles.

However, as with other drugs, occasional use of cocaine can spiral into an addiction which may become out of control. Frequent users of cocaine can experience anxiety, insomnia and heart palpitations. The risks may increase when the drug is combined with alcohol.

Those who rely on the drug view it as an easy fix, a quick way of boosting their energy levels and increasing their output. These people should take time to consider the wider implications of their habit. The production and trading of the drug is responsible for countless murders and kidnappings  every year in Columbia and Peru: the world’s largest producers of cocaine.

It’s difficult to know how this alarming trend could best be tackled. This new cocaine-taking demographic are educated professionals, but the recent uptake of cocaine by the middle-classes may signal a need for more education on the effects of the drug on an individual’s health, and the worldwide consequences of its trade.

I think I’ll just be sticking to stick to my coffee for now.

 

coke