Croydon is set to become a Flexible Working Borough to make employment more accessible to all, in particular parents and carers, and help reduce child poverty.
The council will also seek accreditation from Timewise, a company which works with local authorities to influence local employers and increase flexibility in the job market.
Through gaining this status, the council will be encouraging other employers in the borough to follow its lead and implement a flexible working culture within their own organisations.
By increasing flexible working opportunities, it is expected that it will result in more opportunities for the most disadvantaged, including single parents who would otherwise not be able to find work.
A survey of single parents in Croydon was carried out last year by the council in partnership with Jobcentre Plus and children’s centres, and found parents reporting high childcare costs and the lack of flexible job opportunities as barriers to finding employment.
To achieve Timewise status, Timewise will work with the council to develop an improvement plan, based on the experience of other local authorities, to encourage more flexible working within the organisation.
The council would then share learning from its own flexible working practice with Croydon employers.
“The lack of flexible working opportunities is often a barrier to finding employment, in particular for single parents.
“By becoming a flexible working borough, we hope to make the labour market in Croydon more accessible to all, and at the same time reduce poverty and promote fairness across our communities.
“We want to change the culture of working in Croydon and debunk the myth that flexible working is any less of a job than traditional full-time employment.”
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning
NOTES TO EDITORS
Flexible working can be in terms of working time, working location or pattern of working. This includes part-time, term-time, job-sharing, flexitime, compressed hours or annual hours. It can also mean working from home on a regular basis, mobile working or teleworking, and career breaks.
Camden was the first Timewise accredited council and the programme is being rolled out to other local authorities including Stoke-on-Trent, Enfield and Waltham Forest councils, Leicestershire County Council, North Dorset District Council and Carlisle City Council.