One in three job adverts 'list flexible working despite hiring crisis'

The number of adverts mentioning flexible work has only increased by 4% in the past year, research suggests.

One in three job adverts list flexible working despite hiring crisis, says Timewise iStock

Fewer than a third of job adverts list flexible working options even though more than half a million people are looking for part-time work, according to a new report.

The number of adverts mentioning flexible work has only increased by 4% in the past year in the UK, research suggested.

Flexible working group Timewise said the number of people working part-time to fit in with issues such as caring responsibilities or ill health has increased from 5.8 million in 2017 to 8.4 million this year.

Its study of six million job adverts found that three in ten listed any kind of flexible working options, while part-time work was mentioned in 12%.

Despite the shift to working from home as a result of the pandemic, Timewise said only around one in eight adverts offered hybrid working.

The report said four people were now chasing every part-time job.

Emma Stewart, co-founder of Timewise, said: “Part-timers represent a deep, hidden pool of talent. Many are skilled and experienced. However, trying to attract them without including part-time options within the wording of your job ad is like going fishing without a net.

“If more employers tried offering quality jobs as flexible from day one, not only would they widen and diversify their talent pool, but they could help contribute to raising the living standards of thousands of people.”

Louise Woodruff, senior policy adviser at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which helped with the research, added: “This analysis shows the profound mismatch between the jobs people need, want and can deliver productively, and the jobs employers are offering by default.

“When we know that many employers are struggling to recruit, part-time and flexible work is something many more should be open to and our government should be supporting.

“Work should be a reliable route out of poverty, but too often it isn’t due to a lack of flexibility. This excludes many skilled and motivated people who need to balance work with other responsibilities or work flexibly due to ill health.

“Many employers benefit not only from employing people on a part-time or flexible basis but also from being able to attract a more diverse range of applicants by offering flexibility up front.”

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