Twenty business groups and trade unions will be asked to consider how the government and businesses can assist a change to hybrid working and promoting “ad hoc” flexible working arrangements.
The task force’s membership includes the CBI, the Federation of Small Businesses, Age UK and the Trades Union Congress. It also has government officials from the business department and members of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, which is a human resources association.
In 2018 the then Prime Minister, Theresa May’s government, established the flexible working task force, but it has not been met since 2019. Now it has a new purpose because of the pandemic and the functional changes brought about by it.
Some major firms have already decided what working life will look like post-Covid restrictions, such as the consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers adopting a hybrid model permanently.
Other companies have not been so quick to adopt changes to working practices, with Goldman Sachs chief executive David Solomon for example, having labelled working from home an “aberration”.
However, many ministers believe that employees who are allowed to work flexibly are more likely to be engaged at work. Which is supported by research by the Behavioural Insights Teams who have suggested that job adverts offering flexible work attract 30% more applicants.