Flexible working will become part of UK law. Here’s what to know

On Monday, Dec. 5, the U.K. government gifted an early Christmas present to millions of workers by proposing a new law that will grant the right to ask for part-time hours or home-working arrangements from the first day of a new job. 

Additionally, approximately 1.5 million low-paid workers — such as those operating in the gig economy, plus students and carers — would be free to supplement their incomes by taking on second jobs and be protected against restrictive “exclusivity clauses.”

Ministers said the plan was “to make flexible working the default.” But will U.K. employers be muttering “humbug” at the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill?

Reactions to the prospective bill have been mixed. Some groups — including trade unions — have applauded it as a critical evolution to ways of working. Others have complained it doesn’t go far enough or has too much wiggle room for employers.

The full version of this article was first published on DigiDay’s future-of-work platform, WorkLife, in December 2022 – to read the complete piece, please click HERE.

Hangover and ‘disappointment’ days: Unusual flexible work policies that will have you raising a glass

Imagine the chaotic scene: you wake up with a pounding head and bloodshot eyes, and last night’s clothes, which reek of alcohol, are strewn carelessly throughout your home. And, worst of all, you have to be in the office in 10 minutes.

Once upon a time, you might have “pulled a sickie,” but now you can be honest because you remember, thankfully, that your employer has a “hangover day” policy. So you message your boss to say you won’t be coming in today.

The Audit Lab, a digital marketing agency in Bolton, near Manchester in the U.K., established such a policy in the summer of 2019. As per the rules: “A hangover day is essentially a work from home day that is booked in last minute. Due to the nature of our industry, which can involve schmoozing with clients and networking, there are a lot of conferences, events and work dos. Our approach acknowledges that our staff may like to enjoy a drink or two at these events.” 

This article was first published on DigiDay’s WorkLife platform in May 2022 – to continue reading please click here.

Why new hybrid working policies are falling short for employees

Hybrid working policies are a mess.

In the stampede to get people back into the office, most employers have fallen short when it comes to providing real flexibility and autonomy. The result: employees that have returned to the office haven’t enjoyed the experience, while those that have been forced to return, have quit as a result, according to sources.

Part of the issue is that hybrid workforce strategies have largely been centered on where employees should be while they work, rather than on work outcomes. It should be the other way around.

This article was first published on DigiDay’s WorkLife platform in April 2022 – to continue reading please click here.

Employees and their employers can’t seem to agree on which flexible work perks will make them stay

For decades, the majority of organizations have, in one way or another, told anyone who would listen that “people are our greatest asset.” Clichéd as the phrase may be, its veracity is being tested as this hybrid-working world has shifted the balance of power away from leaders toward staff. 

For some people, watching efforts other employers have made to offer flexible-working perks to attract and retain talent has made the meager efforts of their own employer even more grating.

This article was first published on DigiDay’s WorkLife platform in December 2021 – to continue reading please click here.