Flexible working: a fad or the future?

August 22, 2023

The flexible working bill (or, Employment Relations Act 2023) received Royal Assent on 20th July 2023 bringing it into UK law. The bill guarantees an employee the right to be considered for flexible working within the terms of their employment.  

How the old legislation compares to the new flexible working bill

Our take

Flexible working has always been part of the DNA at Cuttsy+Cuttsy; founders Mathew and Caroline ingrained the practice as one of the agency’s core values when creating their vision of a high-performing independent agency.  

However, no one business model is the same and every industry is different. The bill will mean that anyone (regardless of their company size, structure, or industry) can request flexible working from day one. While this is a great step forward, we ask candidates what their ideal working preferences are as part of our interview process. What is their preferred pattern of work? Do they have commitments outside of work that would benefit from flexible hours? Taking flexible working seriously means taking the time to understand individuals and whether a job can be tailored to them, rather than simply a tick box exercise of whether a candidate fits a job description. We also like to think it’s a great way for an interviewee to understand more about the company culture.

Flexible working comes down to supporting individual preferences. While we have always allowed for remote working, the office forms a vital part of the equation. We find working together in the office not only results in some of our best creative ideas, but it holds benefits beyond business performance. Believe it or not we like spending time together. It is good for mental health to socialise away from a screen, it provides a routine and structure as well as solidifying the borders between ‘work’ and ‘home’ – something many of us struggled with during lockdown.

Last year, almost 2 million people changed jobs due to the lack of flexibility and double this number left their sectors entirely for the same reason.1 It’s a no-brainer then, that on a business level, greater flexibility will help reduce turnover and increase productivity. We’ve seen this with our own team and we’re excited to see how this new bill will help reshape the working lives of everyone in the UK – from day one.

[1]. Gov.uk. Millions to benefit from new flexibleworking measures. Available at: https://bit.ly/47FHh3S Accessed August 2023.

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