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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Flexibility works: Why people choose flexible work

Recruitment insights

The world of work is evolving, but flexible work has remained a significant and steady feature of the UK labour market. On any given day recruiters place over a million people into temporary and contract assignments. Organisations increasingly recognise the need for agile workforce solutions that meet the demand for 24/7 services. And those working flexibly often find it fits with their lives. 

At the same time, flexible working models continue to be conflated in the ongoing debate around casualisation, vulnerable workers and precarious work. What constitutes ‘flexible work’ is complex and often can include a wide variety of different contracts and ways of working, particularly given the so-called ‘gig work’, which is itself ill-defined.

Different ways workers can work flexibly impact on their employment rights as well as how much influence they have to make their job work for them. The ‘Good Work’ agenda in Westminster has provided an opportunity to challenge these misconceptions and demonstrate how working through an employment business is more regulated than other forms of flexible work and can provide workers with the two-way flexibility they want in the modern world of work.

Flexibility works

Focussing on temporary agency workers, contractors and freelancers working through employment businesses, this report sets out who these workers are and why individuals choose flexible work at different stages of their career.

It also lays out the benefits of these kinds of work, highlights the role of intermediaries who facilitate this flexibility, and identifies measures which could further improve the nature of flexible work in the UK.

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Why do people choose flexible work?