Is Flexible Working within manufacturing the Future?

Is Flexible Working within manufacturing the Future?

 7 Mar 2017


With the change in the law which was recently implemented, flexible working is becoming increasingly common for those who want a better work/life balance. The new law allows any employee to request flexible working hours, as long as they have been with the employer for at least 26 weeks and the employer would need to have good reason to reject a request for flexible working. Many employees have other commitments; they may have children and a lack of childcare, they may run a business or an illness which prevents them from being able to work full time. Some just want better flexibility in their life and employers who want to recruit and retain talented staff; will look at incorporating flexible working into their manufacturing business. When an employee requests flexible working, the employer must look at whether this will be possible for the business and will meet with the employee to discuss the outcome. The employee also has a right to appeal the decision.


Types of Flexible Working

There are many different types of flexible working and it makes sense to implement these, if it will benefit your manufacturing business. It is a candidate’s market these days and there are far more jobs than candidates available, particularly in certain sectors and as such, it is important to consider flexible working to attract and retain staff. An option for flexible working may be reducing full time hours to part time, flex-time, working from home or term time working.


Why Allow Flexible Working?

There are all kinds of reasons for allowing flexible working; including for the purpose of recruiting and retaining staff, as well as making employees feel valued in the workplace. For instance, if you are struggling to find a full time candidate for a role, why not consider two part time employees? Flexi-time is also popular with employees, especially those with outside commitments, as it allows them to have some control over their working hours. Many workers would prefer to start early and finish early and if it doesn’t affect your business, there is no reason not to offer it. Another popular type of flexible working is the option to work from home on occasions, take a commercial function for example. This is becoming increasingly popular and can often act as an option for reducing sickness rates. For instance, an employee may feel like they are unable to make it into the office, but they may be capable of doing some work from home. Instead of disallowing this and getting no work done, you can make your employee feel valued and also get the work done by allowing them to take this option instead.


Changing Responsibilities

Life is changing and as we live in an aging population, an increasing number of workers will have responsibility for taking care of their parents. It is thought that as many as 10 million workers will have this kind of responsibility of care by 2030, with one in five in the UK likely to be mothers by this date. With statistics like this, it is important for manufacturing employers to tailor their approach and ensure they are offering flexible working arrangements to retain key employees. It certainly seems like flexible working is the future, so if you want to stay ahead of your competitors, it is worthwhile taking this approach.


Bonfire Recruitment, a specialist engineering and manufacturing recruitment agency based in Glasgow.

Experts in board level, management and technical appointments throughout Scotland and Northern England.



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