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Lack of flexible working options, Timewise finds

Despite the pandemic increasing flexible working initiatives, a reported four out of five of the jobs being advertised in the UK offer no flexible working options, according to the latest findings from Timewise.

The data comes from Timewise’s 6th annual Flexible Jobs Index based on analysis of a total of 6 million job adverts from over 450 UK job boards across three periods. The working specialist also sampled 1,000 job adverts which offer home-working, and also referenced the pandemic.

The research has suggested that a reported 78% of jobs being advertised in the UK have made no reference to any type of flexible working options.

The numbers of people working from home rose from 6% to 43% in late March 2020, with levels dropping back to just 37% by June. Timewise has warned that a widening gap between working reality and what job vacancies offer means rising inequalities will be “compounded”.

Low paid workers which predominantly work part-time, women, carers, older workers and those managing health problems, are all key groups known to already be “disproportionately affected” by the pandemic.

Emma Stewart MBE, CEO for Timewise, said: “The outlook for all jobseekers is stark but for those needing to work flexibly it is even worse. Women, carers, older workers & those with health concerns are currently at the greatest risk of becoming ‘flexcluded’ from work, as new ways of working fail to be reflected in employers’ recruitment advertising.

“We are calling on employers to simply adopt the same approach for job seekers as they are currently taking with employees, and to say so in job adverts. Whether offering remote working, or part time hours, or staggered start and finish times.”

She added: “We have a real opportunity as we rebuild the economy to finally create a level playing field for the millions for whom flex is now both a necessity and an expectation.”

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