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How to negotiate a more flexible role

Would you like more flexibility in your role? Then you might be surprised to find out that in the UK, people work an average of 31.9 hours a week, according to the Office of National Statistics. Part-time workers average out at 16.3 hours per week.

So how do you reduce your hours or gain more flexibility?

Think like a Director. If you do this, you can develop a business case for your flexibility. Rather than what it will offer you, think what it could do for the business:

  • Could your flexibility better suit customer demands, increasing customer service, customer loyalty and beating off the competition? This could include an early start, late finish or weekend working.
  • Are you on the road seeing clients? Would you be able to get more work done if you weren’t spending so much time travelling back to the office?
  • Can you work virtually and join video calls for important meetings?
  • Does remote working provide a more agile office, freeing up desk space?
  • Can you make yourself available on the phone if needed?
  • Can you provide a timesheet to show what work you have completed?
  • Could you do a job share, bringing in another experienced member of staff – providing better holiday cover?

Do you have someone who depends on you or has your health changed?

If you have become a carer or a new parent, it is completely understandable to ask for more flexibility in your role. You have statutory legal rights in the UK, which include:

  • The right to request flexible working following continuous employment of 26 weeks. This has to be made in writing addressing any impact to the business and how it could be managed.
  • You have the right to take time off (unpaid) for emergencies that include a partner, child, parent.
  • You have rights under the Equality Act if you are a carer who is experiencing discrimination.
  • If you have worked for a company for more than 12 months and have a child under 18, you can take up to 18 weeks (in total) of parental leave (unpaid) up to their eighteenth birthday.

Time to change jobs?

Sometimes it’s just time to find a more understanding employer who can cater for your needs for flexibility. It’s worth talking to a recruitment agency, so they can find something that is more suitable.

Public Practice Recruitment Ltd is an established and experienced business that specialises in finding the most suitable candidates within the accountancy field. For more information, you can visit our website, call us on 0333 5777 787 or email


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