MPs not doing enough to encourage flexible working

MPs not doing enough to encourage flexible working

The government needs to do more in order to encourage flexible working and recognise the benefits it has on the UK's economy, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), Professional Contractors Group (PCG), Adam Afriyie MP, Chris Pincher MP, and the think tank Demos.

An increasing focus on living standards and the world of work amid a nascent economic recovery are all factors that have caused many on the fringes of the Conservative Party to argue that more needs to be done in order to simplify systems and encourage individuals to work on a flexible basis.

Flexible working has become something of a hotly talked about issues within the business world, due in part to the rising use of bring your own device (BYOD) strategies, video conferencing and voice over internet protocol (VoIP).

Adam Afriyie MP claimed at the latest Conservative Party conference that there are currently one-in-seven people in Britain that are working on a flexible basis, representing an aspect of the labour market that could be set to grow by £5 billion over the course of the next five years.

Mr Afriyie stated a fundamental cultural shift in approach towards flexible working is currently required, meaning that public procurement procedures need to be more accessible to the self-employed, and those that do decide to work flexibly should be recognised in employment and welfare legislation.

His thoughts were echoed by fellow Tory MP Chris Pincher, who said that allowing for an infrastructure that allowed flexible working would be able to drive a greater level of productivity and subsequent profit, but also backed calls to simplify the taxes involved, while expanding the work of the IR35 forum in order for the UK to gain the most from flexible working.

The REC's head of policy and public affairs, Kate Shoesmith, also called on there being a need to simplify the tax system and reform public employment services in order to ensure that the right level of support to flexible workers is made available.