Workers willing to exchange pay for greater flexibility

A quarter of workers would be willing to take a pay cut in exchange for more flexible working hours, according to a report by Scottish Widows.

The report by the Centre for the Modern Family, based on 2000 working adults and 500 businesses, shows that although employers are often positive about introducing flexible working policies, some are failing to live up to employees expectations.

More than 21% of workers without children think that parents receive better support when it comes to flexible working arrangements.

51% of the employers surveyed are currently offering flexibility for mothers with children.

However, fewer employers were supportive of fathers with children (35%), older workers (26%) and other employees (34%) who may have additional responsibilities such as caring for an unwell relative, volunteering or attending training courses outside of work.

Clarity on benefits

Despite reporting having a positive view on the introduction of flexible policies for employees, many businesses still suffer drawbacks when it comes to intention and action.

The report finds:

  • 17% of businesses have called for clearer information around the benefits of flexible working
  • 31% place the duty on employees to consider taking cuts in return for flexible working hours.

However employees felt the exact opposite:

  • 24% suggesting that employers should offer flexible shift patterns
  • 23% are willing to be paid less in return for fewer working hours if this was made available as an option.

Anita Frew, chair of the Centre for the Modern Family, said:

“Although employers have taken promising steps towards offering more flexible working hours, there is still work to be done to ensure these policies are being rolled out to all employees.

“Our economy depends on a skilled and motivated workforce that functions productively – and our best hope of achieving this is through encouraging employers to adapt to the evolving needs of the workforce.”

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