Timewise Councils – a programme to help councils drive change in flexible working and hiring

Timewise Councils

Emma Stewart MBE, Timewise Joint CEO

The world of work is changing. How, when and where people work are now just as important as the roles they do.

Timewise’s Flexible Jobs Index, launched in June, highlighted that whilst 96% of employers offer some form of flexible working only 6.2% of quality jobs are open to flexible hours at the point of hire.

However, over 14 million people want some form of flexibility in their next role. This lack of quality flexible jobs is creating a talent bottleneck for job-seekers and employers.

And that’s why, we at Timewise, have developed the Timewise Council programme to help councils drive change in flexible working and hiring to help them to get the best out of their workforce, and to attract the best most diverse talent. And by changing how they work, Timewise Councils have the insight and credibility to better influence other employers, and suppliers in their locality to unlock more quality jobs to flexible working.

This approach is starting to prove effective in helping local authorities to tackle worklessness, reduce inequalities in their local labour market and stimulate inclusive jobs growth.

And we know these outcomes align with some of the territory recently covered by the recent Cooperative Councils Innovation Network’s Policy Commission into Community Resilience, Jobs and Growth. It could be an effective tool for Cooperative Councils to encourage job growth and in turn help more people into quality roles and help raise the living standards of local families by unlocking more quality flexible jobs for residents who need them.

It also supports the culture change work that co-operative councils are currently undertaking to embed values such as fairness, respect and responsibility into the way that they work.

A growing number of Councils have now undertaken our programme – including the Cooperative Councils’ London members, Islington and Lambeth.

Early feedback suggests many are starting to see, or expect to see, shifting management attitudes towards presenteeism with the perception changing from one of accommodating flexibility, to seeing that it is good for business.

As Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth Council puts it “Being Timewise allows us to recruit a more diverse workforce and help raise the standard of living for the families of those we employ.”

We know the challenges for local government are significant, and that becoming agile and flexible in how they work and manage their people, is just one way to become future fit. But it’s an important way.

And the opposite of flexible is not full time but rigid working, which isn’t good for anyone.

If you would like to find out more please do get in touch with us.

Emma Stewart

Joint CEO, Timewise

Email: emma.stewart@timewisefoundation.org.uk

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