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March 30, 2010

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Employers urged to promote flexible working

The Government has called on employers to do more to support flexible working, in its published response to the Family Friendly Taskforce report.

The taskforce was set up by Work and Pensions Secretary Yvette Cooper at the end of last year to explore how the availability and quality of family-friendly working practices could be improved.

Taking forward the taskforce’s recommendations, the Government has promised to promote flexible working across the public sector and will appoint a group of business leaders and business organisations to champion the case for flexible working in the private sector.

To help encourage more businesses to offer flexible jobs next year, Jobcentre Plus will implement computer changes so that employers looking to advertise new vacancies in job centres will be automatically asked if the role can be part-time, job-share, or flexible.

Ms Cooper also pledged that the Department for Work and Pensions would lead the way in making job vacancies available on part-time and flexible bases.

She said: “Many parents can feel torn between working and being able to spend enough time with their children. Helping people into jobs, which also meet the needs of their family, is a really important way to tackle poverty and help parents build a better life for their children.

“There aren’t enough quality part-time or flexible jobs available to parents at the moment and I am determined that, starting with my own department, government works with business so that we can make sure there are enough opportunities out there for parents who want to work.”

The Government has also published ‘Think Fathers: How flexible working for dads can work for your business’, a collection of case studies describing how businesses of all sizes and across many different sectors have implemented flexible working and reaped benefits. It provides some tips to employers on how they can do the same in their own businesses.

Said Children and Families minister Dawn Primarolo: “We are publishing the ‘Think Fathers’ guide to highlight to business and industry the benefits of incorporating flexible family-friendly policies into their company. The guide was created by business, for business, and I hope companies use it to inform and even revise their employment policies and to make it easier for mums and dads to strike the right balance between work and family life.”

The Government’s response and the ‘Think Fathers’ guide are at www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/policy-publications/family-friendly-task-force.shtml

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