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Management culture - 11/2001

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An independent survey carried out amongst FTSE 100 and 500 companies by City law firm Charles Russell, has confirmed the need for businesses to embrace the concept of flexible working patterns.

The survey shows that whilst 9 in 10 heads of Human Resources are in favour of increasing flexible working, only 6 in 10 felt that their companies management culture would allow them to do this. Indeed, a quarter of those surveyed said that the management culture worked against more flexible arrangements.

Brian Palmer, deputy head of the Employment Group at Charles Russell says, ìI am not surprised to see figures showing a reluctance at management level to move towards flexible working. Managing part-timers and other flexible workers can be more challenging than a traditional workforce. A flexible approach will be essential to recruit and retain the new generation of workers. It is not only those with family responsibilities who are looking for a work/life balance. Previously, rights for part-timers and flexible workers were closely linked to sex discrimination claims. New legislation and regulations mean that employers have to address the issue more seriously for all workers, not just women. If not, they risk opening their company to substantial liabilities.î