[2018] ** Motion 23 Promoting flexible working

carried motion
Carried motion

Received from:

Congress recognises that a positive approach to flexible working by employers leads to a better motivated workforce, improves staff retention and productivity and attracts a wider pool of applicants for jobs. Many workers will benefit from flexibility at some point in their working lives. Whether to care for children or older relatives; to manage a disability or long term health condition; or to enable them to continue working longer as the retirement age increases.

Yet many employers are still reluctant to agree to flexible working arrangements that meet the demands placed on modern working families. Even in the NHS, employers continue to lose experienced staff because they are unable to negotiate the flexibility that they need. This not only leads to increased recruitment costs but places additional workload on remaining hard-pressed staff already struggling to cope with increasing patient needs.

In June, in a major speech on the future of the NHS, the prime minister recognised that the government must “take better care of staff and offer greater flexibility over where they work, when they work and what they can do”. We welcome this approach but need action rather than words. The 2017 NHS England staff survey revealed that only 50 per cent of staff were satisfied with their opportunities for flexible working patterns.

Congress calls on the government to introduce the right to request flexible working from the first day of employment and to do more to promote to employers the benefits of flexible working at all levels.

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy


  • Add new paragraph at end:
    “In addition, Congress agrees to support workplace representatives to review local policies to include provisions above the statutory minima, including:
    – allowing more than one request in any 12 month period
    – a strong commitment to, and promotion of, flexible working at all levels/grades, with rejection only if the employer can provide clear evidence that this would be unworkable.”

Royal College of Midwives