2 July 2014
Why is it that at a time when so much is being made of the importance of supporting small businesses, the government has decided to turn the right to request flexible working into a law? Whilst it might appear to be a positive move, I think that it actually adds a layer of complexity into running a business. There are enough difficulties facing small companies as it is; to have something else thrown into the mix makes it even more complex.
Many companies offer this kind of flexibility without having the extra legwork and hassle of an administrative process to go through, and I think the government has only brought in this law for a potential quick win before the election. Time will tell whether it’s a good thing or not, but with so many different kinds of business, some with working hours or demands that are hard to change, I worry about the impact on SMEs.
Personally, I think it’s disappointing that because some businesses don’t treat their staff well enough; all businesses have to face this additional challenge. In my experience, the best businesses – the ones that thrive and grow – are already flexible. If you’re working for one that isn’t then vote with your feet! We’re in an employee driven market where there are more jobs than there are people. The dynamic of the country is changing; employers are realising that they must work hard to keep their best talent so there’s no need to feel trapped in a job when the culture of the company doesn’t suit you.
Ultimately, I think we have to consider the wellbeing of the individual but also of the collective. Will small firms struggle with the new legislation or will it prove to be beneficial? What are your predictions?