Matthew Neville

Flexible working could create 51,200 jobs and generate £55bn for UK economy, study suggests

A study intended to quantify the economic benefits of flexible working projects claims that £55bn could be “unlocked” with a 50 per cent increase in flexible working.

Flexible working already contributes £37bn to the UK economy each year, according to ‘Flexonomics: The economic and fiscal benefits of flexible working, a new economic study aiming to quantify the contribution of the working arrangement’.

Published by Pragmatix Advisory, and commissioned by Tier One contractor, Sir Robert McAlpine, and flexible working campaigner, Mother Pukka, the report forecasts that a 50 per cent increase in current rates of flexible working could result in a net economic gain of £55bn, alongside the creation of 51,200 new jobs.

With flexible working linked to enhanced productivity and employee morale, alongside a reduction in employee absences, the report also found that refusals to accommodate flexible working requests are costing businesses almost £2bn a year.

Paul Hamer, chief executive of Sir Robert McAlpine, comments: “We have been supporting Flex Appeal because we believe that everyone has the right to a healthier work life balance and flexible working could help us alleviate the mental health crisis in construction.

The misconception that flexible working is only applicable to a select few sectors needs to change. Flexible working can refer to working patterns, workload or time spent in the workplace, and this report, one of the first of its kind, demonstrates the glaring benefit to the UK economy if adopted more widely.“

Anna Whitehouse, founder of Mother Pukka and Flex Appeal, comments: “Flexible working has never been about location, it’s always been about inclusion. It’s about including talent. Talent with caring responsibilities, talent living with disabilities.

“People who are looking to work in a human - or even humane - way that’s ultimately good for business. For the last six years, Flex Appeal has been lobbying the government, campaigning on the streets of London, Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol and Edinburgh. And now we can prove that it’s good for business.”

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