SNP MSP Gillian Martin will today lead a debate in the Scottish Parliament celebrating the personal and economic benefits of flexible working practices.
As well as improving the lives of many workers and the overall productivity of businesses and organisations, flexible working hours and location can encourage new talent to join the world of work and realise their potential.
Gillian Martin will argue that while staff can legally request flexible working after six months, employers should do more to promote the practice.
SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire East Gillian Martin said:
“Flexible working enables employees to balance their work and personal lives – which can, for example, include caring responsibilities – which in turn increases productivity and helps us achieve our economic potential as a nation.
“Employers that champion flexible working broaden their horizons to a wealth of talented new recruits that have previously been precluded from working – with the rigidity of working life conflicting with caring, personal or family commitments that mean a standard working day and week is not open to them.
“Recruitment and retention is one of the major overheads in business, and studies show that flexible working reduces staff turnover and the number of sick days taken, as well as attracting budding new recruits. Having a flexible workforce can also increase the responsiveness of your business.
“I offer flexible working to my staff, not just for their benefit but for my own. My parliamentary assistant is able to work around her university teaching commitments and in turn, I get a committed and capable employee.
“By making working life more flexible – we will both realise the potential of our employees and be in the strongest position possible to deliver the Scottish Government’s purpose of sustainable economic growth.”
Excerpt from Gillian Martin’s opening speech:
A recent survey by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found that 66% of Scottish women felt unable to ask for flexible working arrangements for fear of a negative response, 29% said it was because they were afraid of their colleagues’ reaction, and others cited fears of employment discrimination – for example having responsibilities taken off them – as if by merely asking for flexible working marked them out as not having the same work ethic or commitment to their job.
Contact: SNP Press 0131 348 5750