The Flexible Working Taskforce launches new employer guidance on hybrid working to promote best practice

Monday, 06 December 2021

Members of the Flexible Working Taskforce, including Carers UK, have published new practical guidance to help employers develop fair and sustainable hybrid working practices.

The guidance is designed to help employers harness the benefits of well managed hybrid working practices which can help organisations attract and retain staff while supporting employee wellbeing, inclusion and performance.

It offers practical advice, focusing on the key areas of people management, recruitment and induction, inclusion and fairness, and health, safety and wellbeing.

The launch of the guidance is being supported by members of the Taskforce including Acas, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), Carers UK, CBI, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), Federation of Small Business (FSB), the Institute of Directors (IoD), Make UK, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), Scope, Timewise, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and Working Families.

Employers are encouraged to consider:

  • Providing training to people managers on how to manage hybrid teams effectively and support hybrid workers, including performance management, remote communication, collaboration and relationship building.
  • Reviewing HR processes and procedures across the whole employee lifecycle to ensure they support hybrid working in practice, while also enabling inclusion and wellbeing.
  • Engaging with and listening to employees, managers, trade unions and other employee representatives to understand the early lessons of hybrid working and ensure it is being applied fairly and delivering anticipated benefits to individuals and the organisation.
  • Keeping any hybrid working policies and principles under ongoing review, including the impact on workers with protected characteristics, and ensuring that action is taken to address any negative or unintended outcomes of hybrid work.
  • Recognising that hybrid working is just one form of flexible working, and that time flexibility and flexibility in working schedules can also benefit people and in particular for those who have to be in a place of work to fulfil their jobs.

The new guidance is designed to supplement previous guidance from Acas, also commissioned on behalf of the Taskforce. It is available to view here.

Katherine Wilson, Head of Employment, Carers UK, said:

For many carers, having greater choice and flexibility over where and how they work has helped them to stay in employment and combine this with their caring role.

Many carers have benefited from the changes employers have made during the pandemic, including having more flexibility to work from home, from a site nearer to the person they are caring for, as well as from their usual workplace. Over half (53%) of carers believe returning to the office full time will make their caring role more difficult (1).

Evidence from a recent survey of our Employers for Carers business forum (2) showed that many members appear to have embraced some form of hybrid working and are looking to continue to enable a mix of remote and office working for those who are able to do so. This practical guidance for employers will help organisations to develop and introduce hybrid working arrangements where appropriate as a new or transitional way of working during these continuingly changing and unpredictable times.”

Source: CIPD

(1) State of Caring 2021: A snapshot of unpaid care in the UK (Carers UK)
(2) Supporting working carers in COVID-19: Recovery and return (Employers for Carers, Carers UK)