Businesses looking for the best incentives and recognition for staff with children should consider flexible working, research has suggested.
In light of deputy prime minister Nick Clegg's recent comments on the Edwardian system of maternity and paternity leave, research by global workspace provider Regus suggests that many employers still share this view.
According to HR Magazine, the survey revealed that although nearly half (43 per cent) of UK businesses plan to hire staff in 2011, only 26 per cent want to take on working mothers. But a year ago, 38 per cent said they would have hired them.
The reason for this is that almost 40 per cent think that working mothers show less commitment and flexibility than other staff, and one-third worry that they will leave work to have another child.
Celia Donne, writing for HR Magazine, points out that bosses benefit from flexible working as well as staff.
"By allowing all employees, not just parents, to work flexible hours or closer to home, they are rewarded by a more productive and loyal workforce. They can cut the costs associated with staff 'churn' and also reduce overheads," she wrote.
Yesterday T-Mobile suggested that smartphones are another means of flexible working, as they boost staff performance wherever they are.
Posted by Elizabeth Mewes
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