Category Archives: Flexible working

Women feel pressure with rise in UK unemployment

Posted on April 18, 2013 by allmumkind | Comments (6)

Women choosing to stay at home with their families has decreased by nearly 50,000 as they more parents feel the pressure to return to work due to financial strain.

Interestingly, the unemployment figure for the UK between December and February hit its worst figure of 2.56m since 2011, this was also the highest peak the figures have seen as "stay-at-home-mums" felt the pressure to find work during this period.

The dramatic increase in figures published by the Office for National Statistics identified that it was almost entirely populated by women re-entering the labour market and being "unemployed" compared to the previous classification as "economically inactive".

The recent announcement of pension changes has seen over 30,000 women deciding not to retire and forcing many more to rethink retirement and start looking for work.

Part-time employment rose to over 20,000 and interestingly, no all occupied by parents as a high proportion of individuals being unable to seek full-time employment, opt for part-time work.

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UK trails Europeans in flexibility and parental leave

Posted on April 11, 2013 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

So why is our nation falling behind in supporting families in the workplace?
It has been pointed out that our access to affordable childcare and flexible working is just not good enough and makes returning to the workplace simply not desirable.

Our modern society in which we live, you would think, would make it more straight forward compared to decades ago to return to the workplace with our growing technology and modern culture values. Britain has now fallen behind our European neighbours as we have failed to capitalise on these opportunities.

During the 1990's, the number of women working was way ahead of our competitors, Germany and the Dutch - where we had affordable childcare and more flexible work. Unfortunately, we fell behind during the Labour decade and Germany and the Dutch overtook us as they continued to invest and participate in innovating support with more flexible opportunities, better childcare support and balanced parental arrangements. Britain began to fall behind with outdated labour regulations and commercial appetite.

What we have failed to invest in, is the continual moving with modern times and the priority to adapt flexibility within the workplace. Our business's cultures will continue to take time to catch up with childcare support and flexible working for both parents.

Helping parents to get into work and particularly enabling mothers to maintain skills will have a positive impact both on families and the country's finances. There are many good examples we can adopt from other countries who have reduced the barriers and increased participation. Although Britain is late to the game, there is no reason why we can't reform working practices, childcare provision and parental leave to the benefit of all. This should be a priority for the remainder of this parliamentary term. Then we can see a real rise in the participation of women in work.

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Employer - employee discrepancy with flexible working

Posted on February 27, 2013 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

We are hearing on a regular basis that businesses are embracing flexible working in their culture, but are they really?

New research has revealed that there is still an employer - employee discrepancy in companies where flexibility really isn't being embraced.

O2 carried out research and have found that from the businesses studied, 80% of employers insist that flexibility is being enforced but a staggering 20% of the workforce can only agree.

Employees are demonstrating their eagerness for working differently, but this is being disrupted by their companies who are not acting fast enough once they have committed to a flexible working culture.

Workforces questioned feel that productivity would increase if they could work different patterns and that flexible working is more important nowadays than holidays and pay. Company bosses are failing to react to this.

Ben Dowd, business director at O2, said such data is "shocking".
"Businesses must sit up and take notice of this critical evolution in employee behaviour and create a business culture equipped to support it," he added.

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Dad's wish to reduce hours at work to spend more time with children

Posted on January 14, 2013 by allmumkind | Comments (3)

Recent research has found than more and more dad's would like to reduce their working hours to spend more time with their children.

Family life is becoming more of a priority over careers amongst more fathers these days than ever.
Dad's wanting part-time hours has been identified during the creation of the report "The Rise of Part-time Dads". The majority of men with kids - nearly 60% who work full-time hours are more and more keen to stay at home as they are missing out due to increasing hours demanded from office jobs.

Although there is an increased appetite for more dads to switch to part-time hours many do admit that they would be concerned over the perceived social stigma that is attached. This is nearly 70% of the dad's interviewed. Another concern would be being seen as secondary when it comes to earning potential.

This study was carried out by Office Angels to see how the Government's approaching changes to parental leave will affect both mothers and fathers. The Operations Director, Angela Smith goes on to say, "It's no longer unusual for the woman to be the highest earning partner in a relationship and against this backdrop, a new trend has emerged: that of the part-time dads, who take a greater role in the upbringing of their children … work-life balance is increasingly a subject that weighs heavy on dads' minds," she noted.

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Economy may be slow but part-time work on the increase..

Posted on November 15, 2012 by allmumkind | Comments (1)

Although we have news that the economy won't properly recover for at least three more years, there is a positive outcome in that part-time jobs are actually on the increase.

Unfortunately for full-time workers a recent study by the Bank of England found that on average they are working slightly longer hours compared to 4 years ago. This isn't surprising with the jobs losses and businesses needing more output with costs being cuts.

A Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research comments “Overall, economic performance has been pretty dismal. There’s been little growth for two years but the labour market has responded to that very well. We’ve seen employers push through a reduction in hours and wages decreased. That’s unpleasant for many individuals but are we better off as a society? Yes.”

Interestingly, a new trend has been identified in that part-time employment has increased during the three months to September, by nearly 50,000, which is a record high, taking the part-time market to 8.1m. Within this figure, almost 1.5m people took the offer of part-time work because they simply couldn't find full-time employment. The main reason for this is driven by employers not wanting to add to their cost base as they are cautious of over committing and therefore, jobs are offered as part-time.

There is evidence that businesses are in fact becoming more 'flexible' by offering more skilled and professional jobs on a part-time basis including, job-shares, home-working etc as employers see this as adding value to their organisations. Great news for professionals seeking a better work-life balance.

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Governments extension of flexible working is good for business

Posted on November 12, 2012 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

Flexible working rights has been extended to all employees by the government, after their findings which suggest both employers and employees will benefit.

The shift in decision has been openly welcomed the Chief Executive of the CIPD who is amongst one of the many organisations who strongly support the move.

It is evident there appears to be a positive change towards flexible working of which employers can actually benefit from. During the current economic climate it is important businesses retain, motivate and demonstrate a more diverse workforce which are certainly supported through flexible working.

Flexible working is always important to working mothers, however it does span widely across the whole workforce reaching universally. Businesses can certainly receive commitment and loyalty from their workforce by adopting the policy. Understandably, some businesses may take more time to adopt and influence their culture with the new working policies, but small businesses should instantly enjoy multiple benefits almost immediately.

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Flexible working favoured in lieu of no pay rise

Posted on October 16, 2012 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

A recent poll carried out by software provider, TeamViewer found that from the 1000 office workers questions, nearly 70% would prefer to work from home.

Interestingly, the majority of workers, 78 per cent, want more access to flexible working as a benefit in the absence of pay rises, a survey has found.

Many UK businesses are still to implement clear flexible working strategies for their workers. Half of the office workers asked said they would prefer not to have to travel to the workplace. Only a quarter of the respondents could choose to work from home, with prior arrangements and just under another quarter said they would on occasion work from home.

Many of the employees questions said they would be happier if their employer could contribute to better "virtual" office working conditions - eg faster internet access.
Interestingly, whilst many workers enjoy the option of flexible working, may still continue to work in their designated office.

The findings did show that more people did enjoy and are seeking a better working life balance through flexible working policies.

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Technology sector sees less women recruited

Posted on October 3, 2012 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

After a report found that over the last decade, women working in the Technology sector has fallen significantly and the government has now decided to take action.

Women actually make up 49% of the UK labour force and within this population, just 17% work within IT. We have recently witnessed the CEO of Yahoo being secured by senior executive, Marissa Mayer which we hope will have a ripple effect down through the industry.

The Industry has always been labelled as less feminine and for geeks so this has been a big part over the last decade as to why more women have fallen out of the recruitment process as it perhaps isn't so attractive.

Founder of the marketing agency The Lady Geek, Belinda Parmar suggests that "if this had been allowed to happen in any other industry there would be an outcry". Parmar has found through research that tech companies with women on management teams have a 34% higher return on investment.

Some women in the field tend to disagree and believe different. Leila Johnston, writer and technologist-in-residence for the Happenstance project at Sheffield's Site Gallery, says: "Women in tech are perhaps getting a little bored of talking about their women-ness now. Which is a shame, as who else will stand up and say it's OK for girls to hang out in the computer room every lunchtime

Leila Johnston, writer and technologist-in-residence for the Happenstance project at Sheffield's Site Gallery, says: "Women in tech are perhaps getting a little bored of talking about their women-ness now. Which is a shame, as who else will stand up and say it's OK for girls to hang out in the computer room every lunchtime, like we used to?"

Is it time to forget the tired stereotypes of engineers and technologists as nerds and geeks and boffins? "My role models were people who seemed to do whatever they wanted, without caring what anyone thought of them," says Johnston. "It might just be this attitude that gives girls the push to not care about going against the grain."

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Mind the gap!

Posted on October 1, 2012 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

Mind the gap!
So you have taken a year out or even a longer break from your career and now you have decided you would like to return to the workplace? You look at your CV and not sure were to start?
When we take career breaks for any reason it can make us a little nervous as to how we explain our breaks/gaps and also we fear the markets have moved on without us.
Presentation and a clear explanation of your skills and being able to demonstrate these well in previous posts are key. Being able provide concise detail as to exactly what you have done will give the employer more interest and grab their attention.

Your CV should flow placing your skills and experience in an interesting order so that the employer takes you into consideration for the role. With the turbulent market we have experienced since 2008, it is actually quite common for candidates to have breaks on their CV, so it’s not really unheard of. A good CV must be based on skills rather than being presented in a chronological order.
So this is a good place to start when giving your CV a complete makeover. Gather a list of all the skills you have acquired since leaving education, through your career and whilst taking a break.
You may have offered some volunteering, advisory, freelance, charity, school/baby group support work. You may have even started your own blog/website? These are skills and can be translated onto your CV.

Order them concisely and you will be surprised perhaps that you have acquired skills without realising?
Getting back to the workplace can leave you feeling daunted and you may be lacking confidence, but taking a step back and again creating a plan of action can be the first steps back.
Can you offer some advisory/consultancy work for free perhaps amongst local businesses where your skills may fit? If you haven’t created a Linked-in profile make this a priority. Have a think about the types of businesses you would like to work for and see if there would be ways you could work with them? Connect with all of your previous colleagues who witnessed your dedication and experience. Start networking and share with them your interest of returning to the workplace and what you can do?
By looking at your list of skills, you may shape a role, which you didn’t necessarily do previously but can give you the insight to work towards. Talk to friends and again previous colleagues to gather information and tips to help you along.

As well as reading jobs adverts, focus on a few specialist website/agencies who can help you and give you some advice.

Posted in Flexible working | Tags: Flexible working, Gender, career break

New survey suggests bosses should be more adaptable

Posted on September 25, 2012 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

A report recently issued by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) suggests that more bosses within companies need to be far more adaptable across their workforces.

The REC questioned nearly thirty businesses about their family friendly policies. They are placing more emphasis on businesses to be aware of supporting flexibility which will in the long term provide them with more of a competitive edge.

In addition to advancing in their market space, companies could benefit from an increase in productivity, boost morale during these difficult economic times and reduce absenteeism. Business do fail to realise that by eroding talent and top performers through non flexible working, can hinder their business position in the long run.

The improvement of flexible working needs to be instilled amongst the managers firstly and teach them how to lead their teams effectively so that everyone across the company will benefit. This is really the time now to encourage businesses to embrace such changes.

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