High earners most likely to benefit from flexible working

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Charity calls for more flexible roles to be advertised, as OECD says UK is the worst place for a young mother to seek work

High earners are significantly more likely to benefit from flexible working, according to new research released by Working Families.

The charity found that more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of parents who together earn more than £70,000 a year work in a flexible way, but less than half (47 per cent) of those who earn between £10,000 and £40,000 a year benefit from flexible working.

The survey of more than 1,000 working parents found that more than half (55 per cent) worked extra, unpaid hours each week, with 25 per cent saying they worked at least five additional unpaid hours a week.

Sarah Jackson, chief executive of Working Families, said: “Families need time as well as money to thrive. But one shouldn’t depend on the other.

“We know flexible working makes business sense across the salary spectrum, so why should only the people who earn the most be able to reap the rewards?

The survey, released as part of National Work Life Week (3-7 October), also found that two-thirds (68 per cent) of working parents believed their jobs interfered with attending important milestones in their children’s lives, such as school plays or parents’ evenings.

More than half (56 per cent) said the demands of work affected their ability to put their children to bed, with 20 per cent saying this happened more than three times a week. A further two-thirds (63 per cent) said work negatively affected the time they had to spend helping children with homework.

Jackson said employers needed to make the availability of flexible working options – such as part-time working, flexible hours, and remote working – more explicit in their recruitment processes.

“We want jobs at all levels to be advertised as flexible. And this should be the norm, rather than the exception,” she said.

Meanwhile, a new report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has singled out the UK as one of the worst countries in the developed world to be a young mother seeking work.

The UK – along with the US, Ireland and New Zealand – had the lowest proportion of young mothers in work out of the 35 countries surveyed. The OECD said young women were, on average, 1.4 times more likely than men to not be in education, employment or training (NEET).

“For many of them, this is because they are looking after small children and the high cost of childcare is a major barrier to employment. In the United States, Ireland, United Kingdom and New Zealand, childcare costs for a lone parent can account for between one-third and a half of net income,” said the Society at a Glance 2016 report.

Story via – http://www.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/archive/2016/10/06/high-earners-most-likely-to-benefit-from-flexible-working-says-report.aspx

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