How EY is encouraging flexible working across the UK

30 Nov 2017

Manchester Town Hall 300x200EY’s support of the Greater Manchester Flexible Jobs Index is just one example of how they’re championing flexible working across the UK. Here’s what else they’re doing to drive change.

Timewise’s new Greater Manchester Flexible Jobs Index has really brought home the need for more part-time and flexible jobs in the region. As the research showed, only 11.4% of jobs at or above the minimum wage are advertised as being open to flexible or part-time working.

That means jobseekers in the region who need to work in this way, can only apply for around one in every nine vacancies. Given that almost three-quarters of UK employees now work flexibly in one way or another, employers in the region clearly need to take action to meet the demand, by opening up more jobs to flexibility at the point of hire.

A culture that supports flexible working

One firm which is already on the case is EY who, as well as supporting the index itself, are blazing a trail for flexible working and flexible hiring in their north-west offices. They recognise that flexibility has an important role to play in today’s workplace, as Bob Ward, North West Senior Partner explains:

“The shape of the jobs market in the UK is changing. The traditional 9-5, five days a week arrangement is being challenged in favour of a much more agile way of working. Creating a more flexible jobs market in Greater Manchester will help contribute to the city’s inclusive growth.”

And they are clear that it’s not just about employees tweaking their hours, or working from home from time to time. “Putting greater emphasis on flexible job design – tailoring each role to the actual needs of the business,” in Bob’s words, is the way to make flexible working a real success for employers and employees alike.

A can-do attitude to making flexibility work

One individual who has personal experience of this is Victoria Price. A Partner in EY’s Tax practice, who works across their Manchester and Liverpool offices, she found the support for flexibility that she really needed when she joined the firm. As she explains:

“I had two children and wanted to be able to work part-time; I had interviews with other large firms, but it was EY who said ‘Yes, we can make that work’. They introduced me to people who were already working part-time, and these examples were all I needed to hear to know it could be a reality.

I’ve worked three days a week for most of my career and now work four and a half, but it hasn’t held me back. I progressed my career whilst working flexibly, making partner two years ago.”

At EY, flexible working is for everyone

EY is equally focused on flexible working elsewhere in the UK. The firm helped produce Timewise’s new research into who wants to work flexibly and why, which showed that 91% of female and 84% of male full-time employees either already work flexibly or wish they could. It cuts across the generations too, with 92% of Generation Y, 88% of Generation X and even 72% of the baby boomers preferring this way of working.

In today’s market, then, flexible working is for everyone. And EY has a good track record of supporting it across the board. As Bob Ward concludes:

“At EY, flexible working has become the way we do business – it is part of our culture. Our people at all levels of our organisation can work flexibly, including our senior leaders, for a range of reasons, and we also advertise all of our roles as ‘open to flexibility’.”

So while there still aren’t enough flexible and part-time jobs to meet the demand, it’s reassuring to see large employers like EY standing up to be counted and driving change across the UK.

You can view flexible jobs at EY on our jobs board. You can also narrow your search by region.


This article has been written in association with EY, one of our Timewise partners.

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