The UK’s largest Serviced Office providers Regus have spoken out in support of the Government’s new flexible working proposals, reportedly saying “…new flexible working proposals can boost productivity and shouldn’t negatively influence recruitment.”
Under current regulations workers have a statutory right to ask for flexible working hours provided that fall under a number of categories which include, for example, being a carer or having a disabled child under the age of 18. The regulations currently state that workers have a right to ask for flexible hours but not a right to it with employers having a duty to consider applications but not to grant them. However new proposals would see a big extension of employee flexible working rights, with ministers hoping to particularly encourage more fathers to work part-time or flexible hours when they extend the right to request flexible working to parents with children aged 16 and under.
The proposals have been widely criticised by small to medium businesses where it has been speculated that if employees are given extended flexibility of working hours and maternity leave, productivity levels could be heavily affected.
However Regus have claimed that the new regulations can have only a positive effect on SMEs where, with enterprises facing shaky economic conditions, increased flexibility of workers is an ideal opportunity for growth. Promoting, for example, ease for women returning to work following maternity leave, the new proposals stand to make a substantial impression on employee by boosting moral and consequently increasing productivity during working hours with employees able to work to a time-table which better suits their individual needs.
Acting as Regus’ spokesperson Nina Arnott commented: “With the economic slowdown and rising fuel costs for commuters, it makes sense to adopt flexible working to ensure that businesses can employ the very best talent and maximise their productivity.”
For further information on flexible working laws you can visit the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) website by clicking here.