Research, including our Has work become less secure? report shows that employers and individuals across a range of industries have an appetite for well-managed atypical working arrangements. These arrangements can offer flexibility that benefits both employer and individual, but one person’s flexibility can be another person’s insecurity. One size does not fit all, and choice is key. It’s therefore important that HR professionals and line managers know how to manage these working arrangements responsibly.

This guide outlines the practical ways you can ensure that atypical working works for both employer and individual. Our recommendations cover issues such as:

  • workforce planning
  • motivating workers
  • offering choice over working patterns
  • opportunities for training and progression
  • fairness
  • support for managers.


These recommendations stem from a review of current practices at organisations that have been open about the challenges they've faced in seeking to create ethical atypical working arrangements - and how they plan to address them.

The guide contains a case study from Hermes, Britain’s second-biggest parcel company, on how they work with their self-employed couriers to have the flexibility to provide services at times which suit them.


The previous edition of this guide and its accompanying case studies are available for CIPD members on the HR and L&D database.

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