Associations: your flexible friend?
Housing associations are helping to lead the way in promoting flexible working but could do better, according to a new survey.
The study, carried out by lawyers Trowers & Hamlins and management consultants Mann Weaver Draw, examines how well associations are geared up for adopting the family-friendly working practices coming into force next April. Three out of eight associations offer male staff two or more weeks paternity leave, which will become compulsory when the Employment Act is implemented, with 60 per cent providing fathers with some time off.
Three-quarters of associations offer female staff more maternity leave and pay more than the law stipulates with 69 per cent of associations offering time off from day one of employment.
‘Housing associations are ahead of the game in promoting
flexible work measures for their staff'
It also shows that while 94 per cent of landlords offer flexible clocking on and off times, just one in eight allow similarly flexible working to cater for school holidays.
Half of housing associations allow staff to take more than five days compassionate leave while 69 per cent allow similar time off arrangements for carers. Job sharing is allowed by 81 per cent of associations and 31 per cent offer staff career breaks.
However, none of those surveyed offered creche facilities and just one in eight provided financial help towards childcare costs. On all but a handful of counts, associations were offering greater flexibility than their counterparts across the public and private sectors according to the results of a survey conducted by the Work Foundation last year.
Trowers & Hamlins head of employment Emma Burrows said: ‘Although there is currently no legal right to a work-life balance, housing associations are ahead of the game in promoting flexible work measures for their staff.'
However, she warned that associations yet to implement flexible working practices would have to get their act together in time for April's deadline.
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