Flexible working can help drive economic growth says MSP

Gillian Martin MSP
Gillian Martin MSP

Gillian Martin MSP led a debate in the Scottish Parliament last week celebrating the personal and economic benefits of flexible working practices.

As well as improving the lives of many workers and the overall productivity of businesses and organisations, flexible working hours and location can encourage new talent to join the world of work and realise their potential.

Ms Martin argued that while staff can legally request flexible working after six months, employers should do more to promote the practice.

She said: “Flexible working enables employees to balance their work and personal lives - which can, for example, include caring responsibilities - which in turn increases productivity and helps us achieve our economic potential as a nation.

“Employers that champion flexible working broaden their horizons to a wealth of talented new recruits that have previously been precluded from working - with the rigidity of working life conflicting with caring, personal or family commitments that mean a standard working day and week is not open to them.

“Recruitment and retention is one of the major overheads in business, and studies show that flexible working reduces staff turnover and the number of sick days taken, as well as attracting budding new recruits. Having a flexible workforce can also increase the responsiveness of your business.

“I offer flexible working to my staff, not just for their benefit but for my own. My parliamentary assistant is able to work around her university teaching commitments and in turn, I get a committed and capable employee.

“By making working life more flexible – we will both realise the potential of our employees and be in the strongest position possible to deliver the Scottish Government’s purpose of sustainable economic growth.”