Liz Truss, the minister for women and equalities, has called for flexible working to be normalised following the pandemic.
The news follows a recent research report from the UK government and jobs website Indeed which revealed that the offering of flexible working arrangements has increased job applications by 30%.
The research, which analysed nearly 20 million applications, showed “greater transparency” in job adverts would create at least 174,000 flexible jobs to the UK economy per year.
With more people working flexibly due to Covid, Truss has argued that “now is the time” to normalise it across the country. She believes the move will “boost employment” in areas away from major cities and help “turbocharge opportunities” for women – who are twice as likely as men to work flexibly.
She said: “Our commitment to flexible working is based on our desire to open up employment opportunities to people regardless of their sex or location.
“The shift for many people to work from home during the pandemic has changed mindsets and now is a chance to seize the opportunity of making flexible working the norm, rather than something employees have to specially request.”
She added: “The fact is that for many jobs there are invisible restrictions that hold people back – like the need to live in high-cost accommodation close to the centre of cities or maintain working arrangements that are very hard to combine with family or other responsibilities.”