Document Abstract

Flexible working in the UK

Examines evidence on the progress of flexible working in the UK. Draws on data from a review of statistical evidence set out in ‘Megatrends: flexible working’ (CIPD, 2019), the ‘UK working lives survey’ (CIPD, 2019) and Eurobarometer (2018). Finds that, between 2005 and 2017, the share of people with a flexible working arrangement increased from 23% to 27%, an increase accounted for mainly by a rise in zero hours contracts. Compares progress in the UK with the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Italy, France, Spain, and Poland. Reveals that in 2017 the UK had relatively high shares of people working part-time or doing some work at home, according to Eurostat (25% of employees worked part-time compared with 21% across the EU28, and 20% did some work at home compared with 11% across the EU). Highlights six specific forms of flexible working – flexitime, working at home during regular office hours, compressed hours (eg four-day week), job-sharing, term-time working and reduced hours. Finds that flexitime was the most common, used by 34%. Looks at demand for flexible working, the right to request flexible working, flexible working by size of organisation, and differences in flexible working arrangements in different industrial sectors. Discusses, managers’ attitudes, the impact of flexible working on skills and workplace wellbeing, and concerns that some forms of flexible working may impact on career prospects and quality of life. Sets out policy recommendations.


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Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
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Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

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