CIPD in the news: calling for greater provisions of flexible working and support for those effected by COVID-19

A summary of the work of the CIPD over the last two weeks to raise the voice of the people profession and to champion better work and working lives

The CIPD continues to share its expertise and champion the voice of the people profession with the business community, media and policy makers. Over the last two weeks, the CIPD has focused on the effects on working lives after the pandemic has concluded. See a summary of some of the highlights below. 

Calling for the right to request flexible working from day one

Latest CIPD research showed that employers expect the proportion of people working from home on a regular basis to increase to 37% once the pandemic is over, rising from 18%. 

To support this shift to more regular homeworking, the CIPD is calling for employees to have the right to request flexible working from day-one of their employment – rather than the 26-weeks as currently required. 

The Government has committed to consulting on whether to make the right to flexible working a default position unless employers have a good reason not to. 

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, reiterated the advantages of allowing greater flexible working: ‘Greater use of home working will make work more accessible and sustainable for all, particularly for people with caring responsibility and those with mobility and health concerns. This shift will support and encourage employers to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce which is good for the economy and society at large’.

The research has so far been covered in national titles such as the Daily Mirror, The Times and The Telegraph. Peter Cheese also discussed the findings on BBC 5 Live’s Wake Up To Money.

Highlighting need to protect young people from the fallout of COVID-19

On 8 July the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a series of financial measures designed to protect jobs from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. While recognising the significant financial commitments that have been made to protect jobs, the CIPD raised concerns that the measures are not targeted enough at the hardest hit sectors and age-groups. 

Across all age-groups, young people are set to be particularly adversely affected as a result of the pandemic. While measures from the Chancellor to incentivise employers to invest in apprenticeships are welcome, the CIPD believes the financial measures should be more tightly focused and generous. 

On the Job Retention Bonus also announced by the Chancellor, Peter Cheese commented that ‘we are not convinced it will provide sufficient incentive to encourage employers to bring workers back from furlough beyond those they would be planning to bring anyway’. 

We continue to engage with the Government on policy measures that will help people develop their skills and find work. The day after the Chancellor’s statement, Peter met with Employment Minister, Mims Davies, to discuss in detail the announcements made, particularly around a post-pandemic employment strategy and the measures needed to help young people into work.

The CIPD response was covered in titles such as The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Independent, The Daily Express and The Telegraph. 

Supporting small and medium sized businesses through new volunteering scheme 

The CIPD announced its partnership with Enterprise Nation to support the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on the new Recovery Advice for Business Scheme

The scheme connects professionally qualified consultants to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) looking for support on crucial business functions, such as HR. 

Due to the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many SMEs are facing uncertain futures and struggling to navigate a wide range of people related issues. 

This new scheme provides an opportunity for CIPD members to help SMEs re-orientate, re-plan and relaunch over the coming months. The CIPD is calling on members who are independent consultants to share their experience and expertise with SMEs during these challenging times. 

At the CIPD we’re incredibly proud of our community of volunteers, particularly in recent months. We’ve had record numbers of people signing up to support and get involved with our CIPD volunteering programmes, and are thrilled to be able to offer this new opportunity for members. Get in touch here to find out more and apply. 

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