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Small employers leaders in providing flexibility

Staff writer |
In the 2005 NSE small employers were more likely to provide flexibility than large employers in about half of the types of flexibility investigated, a difference that disappeared in the 2008.

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In 2014, small employers (50 to 99 employees) are more likely than large employers (1,000 or more employees) to allow employees to change starting and quitting times within some range of hours (33% small and 20% large employers), according to Families and Work Institute’s 2014 National Study of Employers (NSE).

They are alos more likely to allow employees to work some regular paid hours at home occasionally (11% small and 4% large employers), have control over when to take breaks (66% small and 52% large employers), return to work gradually after childbirth or adoption (53% small and 37% large employers), and take time off during the workday to attend to important family or personal needs without loss of pay (52% small and 36% large employers).

As the economy recovers, small employers may once again be assuming the lead in the provision of workplace flexibility.

Overall, the study observed two broad trends in the provision of flexible work options from 2008 to 2014.

Employers have continued to increase their provision of options that allow at least some employees to better manage the times and places in which they work. These include occasional flex place (from 50% to 67%); control over breaks (from 84% to 92%); control over overtime hours (from 27% to 45%) and time off during the workday when important needs arise (from 73% to 82%).

Flexibility that involves time away from full-time work is declining. Employers have reduced their provision of options that involve employees spending significant amounts of time away from full-time work. These include sharing jobs (29% to 18%); working part year on an annual basis (27% to 18%); and flex career options such as sabbaticals (38% to 28%) and career breaks for personal or family responsibilities (from 64% to 52%).

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