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Flexible part-time workers outperform those working full-time

Part time and full time

The percentage of top performance ratings for part-time and reduced-hours workers is higher than across all staff, at 34% versus 14%, according to Working Families.

The charity has released a new report in HR Magazine assessing the flexible, agile, and family-friendly working policies of its employer members. The 2018 Top Employers for Working Families Benchmark report explores the experiences of 630,000 employees across public, private, and third sector organisations.

Jane Van Zyl, chief executive of Working Families, said “This year’s benchmark shows that Working Families’ member organisations are getting the most out of their part-time and reduced-hours workers in terms of performance, demonstrating that working ‘differently’ is not only good for working parents and carers but also good for business.”

The benchmark exposed some gaps in flexible working practice, however more than half (52%) of Working Families’ member companies have only trained half or fewer of their staff that approve flexible working requests in assessing the business case for flexibility. There is a similar gap for flexible workers’ line managers; more than half (55%) of organisations have only trained a quarter or less of managers, while 23% have provided no training at all.

Van Zyl, continued: “Effective management of flexibility is crucial to maximise the benefits. Managers need the tools to help them manage the many different forms flexible working arrangements can take.”

She added that shared parental leave (SPL) must not be seen as secondary to maternity leave: “Matching contractual maternity leave and pay to SPL provisions opens up more choice for parents by ensuring that SPL is not the ‘poor relation’ to maternity leave, and sends the powerful cultural message that the organisation fully supports fathers who want to take SPL.”

More than three-quarters (77%) of Working Families’ member companies match SPL to their contractual maternity provisions, the benchmark survey found. This is best practice policy, as providing a higher level of pay for fathers is essential for driving take up, the charity stated. More than four out of five members (82%) have seen uptake of SPL from fathers.