Blog, Case Study May 2024

Big Change Blogs: Scotland’s first good practice standard for flexible working

We hear from Flexibility Works, a recent Programme Award recipient, on its work to develop and pilot Scotland’s first good practice standard for flexible working.

Our Programme Awards aim to support work which is bold, innovative and sustainable – in other words, work with potential to deliver big change that lasts on poverty and trauma in Scotland.

In the video below, Nikki Slowey, co-founder of recent recipient, Flexibility Works, introduces the organisation's plan to develop, pilot and launch an accreditation for employers in Scotland and the UK to create flexible working practices.

Earlier this year, the project received a Programme Award of £185k over three years. This award and the development of the accreditation, will provide employers with a clear framework and benchmark for improving their offer around flexible working whilst supporting the business case for improved job design in response to employees needs. 

In particular, it aims to show how flexible working can benefit lower income workers, and play a part in reducing poverty by helping people get into and stay in work. Recent figures showed that 80% of people in Scotland earning more than £50K said they worked flexibly, compared with 51% of people earning less than £20K. This not only highlights the widening gap between highest and lowest earners, but also the extent to which lack of flexibility can be a barrier to progression.

Lyndsay Fraser Robertson from our Work Pathways team said: “We know a lack of flexibility can be a key barrier to getting into and on in work and can keep specific population groups trapped in a cycle of low pay and limited progression opportunities.

"By piloting this accreditation for employers to create flexible working practices, there is scope to not only draw more people into the labour market, but also to encourage culture change in the highest priority sectors for those population groups most vulnerable to in-work poverty.

“We look forward to seeing how this innovative work develops and adding to the support available to employers to provide greater protections from poverty to their employees.”

Work Pathways Open Call

We currently have an open call for Programme Award applications through our Work Pathways theme.

The priority area for this call is Improving job quality to tackle in-work poverty in Scotland and the closing date for stage one applications is Friday, 7th June 2024. For more information about applying, please click here.