Happy to Talk Flexible Working
A practical strapline for advertising your commitment to flexible working
The vast majority of jobs are not advertised flexibly, which has a serious impact on the talent pool that employers can attract. Our research shows that:
- six out of ten women consider their childcare responsibilities before applying for a promotion or a new job;
- younger fathers say they would like to downshift into a less stressful job and would take a pay cut to work less; and
- access to flexibility at work is linked to salary – with those on lower incomes the least able to work flexibly.
One simple step can change your recruiting culture for good. Move to a starting point that jobs can be done flexibly unless there’s a business reason why not, rather than the other way around. In other words, recruit flexibly by default – and ask hiring managers to justify advertising a role non-flexibly.
We’ve developed a strapline for employers to show they’re ready to have a discussion about flexible working. This will open up the application process to more people with the skills and talents you’re looking for, and encourage managers to think through the best way to get the job done.
You may be an employer who could use this on only one of your job adverts or you may be able to use it on them all. The important thing is taking the time to think through how flexibility could work for you.
Signing up to the strapline, Scottish Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell said
“We know many parents and carers have to juggle work with family commitments and that it can be difficult to begin a conversation around flexible working with a new employer – with the knock-on effect that employers and employees can both miss out on the right opportunities.
“The ‘happy to talk flexible working’ strapline can change all that, making it easier for employers to attract the right breadth of talent, and for employees to find the right balance between their working and home lives right from the outset.”
Of course, putting a logo on an advert isn’t the whole story. We’ve also produced some simple guidance about job design to help you consider what the job really needs and what type of flexible working might work best for your organisation. Once you’re ready to advertise your flexible role simply download the Happy to Talk Flexible Working logo and use it beside your job advert and on the job specification. Contact our Employer Services Team if you have any queries or would like further support on flexible working within your organisation.
Thanks to communications agency AMV BBDO for their pro bono support with development of the strapline.
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Sarah Jackson, Working Families Chief Executive says,
“The lack of flexibility in how we organise work brings very real costs in lost skills and experience and a reduced talent pool for employers. We therefore advocate that employers should adopt a flexible-by-default approach to job design and recruitment. All jobs should be advertised on a flexible basis unless there is a specific, good business reason not to.
The government has the power to introduce this in the public sector whereas it would take legislation to get all private sector organisations to take it up. So we believe that in local and central government it should be adopted as soon as possible. Ministers should act and recruit business leaders as ‘flexible working’ champions, and should encourage private sector employers to adopt the Working Families’ Happy to Talk Flexible Working strapline.”