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Flexible Working

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It is estimated that there are around 27,250 carers in Plymouth (Plymouth report 2019)

41.7% of households in Plymouth have dependent children in 2021, compared to 33.3% of households in 2019 (06.12.22 NOMIS)

Flexible working

Flexible or Hybrid working can be of huge help to people with caring responsibilities, but it can also support older workers or people with disabilities or long-term health conditions.

Flexible working can include the following:

  • Part-time hours

  • Job sharing

  • Job carving (doing part of a job that fits with ability or availability)

  • Flexible working times

  • Support when emergency appointments need to be covered

  • Working evenings or weekends when it is easier for the care giver to work around caring responsibilities

  • Term-time only work

Hybrid working can include the following:

  • Working at work sometimes

  • Working at home or remotely

  • Working at an alternative site

Why is this important?

Flexible working allows for the broadest range of people to maintain both employment and caring responsibilities. Also, to allow people with health needs to work at a time that helps them to manage a condition.

How will this benefit the employees?

It allows parents to maintain a job whilst caring for school aged children, flexibility for school runs etc. For people with caring responsibilities for adults this can allow time to support medical appointments or handovers to other carers.

How will this benefit employers?

Flexibility allows employers to gain more from their employees as they are encouraged to balance completing work and home/caring responsibilities. It can improve recruitment and retention rates. Investment in parents allows people to return to a career path and continue with the work they have been developed for with the same employer.

How can flexible working benefit your organisation? - CMI (

A survey by The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) in 2019 found the following:


·       39% currently working flexibly noticed an improvement in their mental health

·       43% of people whose employers do not currently offer flexible working feel it would benefit their mental health if they were able to work flexibly

"Flexible working allows for the broadest range of people to maintain both employment and caring responsibilities."

Where to start

Review current job roles for the capacity to introduce more flexible working. Are working hours restricted? Could the work be shared between more people?

Seek advice on developing a flexible working policy including how to manage any concerns or disputes.

Effective actions

Be open: rethink how your workload could be shared differently. Do you need to work in the way you always have done?

Be honest: If flexible working will work for some roles but not others be clear about the reasons why.

Consider: How you could be more flexible for people with caring responsibilities. This includes; Mothers, fathers, children of aging parents, friends and relatives of people with aging conditions, caregivers of all ages.

Be aware: How you could be more inclusive to people with disabilities, health conditions or mental health needs.

Prepare: policies to change recruitment and development approaches to be more open. Also prepare managers to hold open conversations with people about reasonable adjustments.

How to achieve changes

Speak to people in your organisation, ask how flexible working could help both them and your business. This is a two-way conversation.

Seek help from organisations who can support.

Useful Links

Calculate holiday entitlement - GOV.UK (

Flexible working uptake | CIPD Viewpoint

The Single Parent Work Challenge | Gingerbread

The Plymouth Charter - Ambassadors and Champions

Choosing and finding childcare | PLYMOUTH.GOV.UK

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