Business, Innovation and Skills
Kate Green (Stretford and Urmston, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the potential benefits to employers of introducing more flexible working practices.
Norman Lamb (North Norfolk, Liberal Democrat)
In May 2011 we published the Modern Workplaces consultation document which was accompanied by a full impact assessment of the extension to the right to request flexible working to all employees. A copy of this impact assessment can be found here:
The impact assessment showed that the annual benefits to employers from flexible working are increased employee productivity (£55 million), lower labour turnover (£11.8 million) and reduced absenteeism (2.5 million). In extending the right to request flexible working to all employees we are also proposing to remove the existing statutory procedure for considering requests and replacing it with a duty on employers to consider flexible working requests reasonably, supported by a statutory code of practice to explain what we mean by reasonable. This will give employers greater flexibility when considering flexible working requests, which we estimate will save employers £12.8 million per year.
Alongside these quantified benefits we recognise that there a number of substantial benefits to employers that we haven't been able to quantify. These include access to a wider talent pool of candidates when recruiting; reduced office overheads and fixed costs as employees work from home or in a more flexible way requiring less office space.