The task force has been established by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to promote wider understanding and implementation of inclusive flexible work and working practices, bringing together policy-makers, employer groups, Unions and employee representative groups, research groups and professional bodies.
Workforce data and forthcoming CIPD research shows that the uptake of most types of flexible working by employees has largely plateaued over the last decade, despite the right to request being available to all. The task force will therefore work to understand the reasons behind this, clarify the benefits of flexible working for individuals and organisations across the many different options and practices, and develop the evidence and understanding as to the most effective ways to increase the provision and support. An important first priority for the group will be to take on the Prime Minister’s challenge to businesses to improve workplace equality by advertising all jobs as flexible from Day one in employment.
The task force will draw together action plans and recommendations with the intention of increasing flexible working opportunities, and will also feed directly into the evaluation of the effectiveness of the Right to Request Flexible Working Regulations in 2019. The first meeting of comes after the Government committed to consider how to further promote workplace flexibility in its Good Work plan in February.
Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD and co-chair of the Flexible Working Task Force, commented:
“We’re delighted to be partnering with the Government on their new Flexible Working Task Force, representing the voice of more than 145,000 people professionals across the UK and globally. HR is in a unique position to understand the barriers that are limiting an advance in flexible working for UK organisations, and identify how flexible working options can benefit both the organisation and individuals. We’re here to encourage, challenge and support government and organisation’s efforts to create a seismic cultural change and greater take up of flexible working for everyone.”