Employers and work-life balance


 
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Employers and Work-life Balance

Investors in People UK

The Employers for Work Life Balance has, over the past three years, been extremely successful in raising awareness of work-life balance and providing advice to other companies on best practice in work-life balance. We at Investors in People UK – the government’s flagship workforce development initiative – were approached by EfWLB and the DTI to build on this and create a national benchmark to provide organisations with practical guidance on how to implement work-life balance policies. Feedback received from employers working with Investors in People had also highlighted the need to provide help in this area of people and business management. As a direct result, we have developed the Work-life Balance Model, which we are launching on June 5th to coincide with the disbanding of EfWLB.

The new Model is a practical guide for all business types, regardless of size or sector. It looks at the questions organisations should be asking with regards to work-life balance – serving as a framework for those tackling the subject for the first time and as a benchmark for those with flexible working procedures already in place. The Model is deliberately flexible because what works for one organisation won’t necessarily work for the next.

The Model helps to ensure all employees, regardless of their personal circumstances, achieve a greater harmony between what they do at work and outside it. We encourage a tailored approach to flexible working – one that looks at individual needs, rather than assuming all employees working for an organisation somehow have the same work and home lives. Organisations need to steer clear of treating staff with a ‘one-size fits all’ strategy. When it comes to work-life balance, everyone has different needs – for some it’s childcare, while others may have hobbies or special needs that need to be taken into account.

The Model can be used by all organisations, whether they are recognised with the Investors in People Standard or not. We have been working closely with a number of stakeholders, including the DTI, EfWLB and CBI, all of whom have contributed to the development of the Model. Additionally, the TUC has provided valuable guidance on ensuring that the Model supports employees as well as employers.

The Work-life Balance Model offers benefits to employers and employees alike. Employers with a flexible plan in place benefit from happier and more motivated staff. Flexible working procedures can help reduce absenteeism, improve staff retention, help attract new recruits, and can enable the organisation to offer more flexible business hours to customers. This helps organisations to improve the way they do business and helps to establish a more attractive place to work.

Ruth Spellman
Chief Executive, Investors in People UK

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