INSPIRATIONAL LOCAL BUSINESSES COMMENDED IN CHAMBER

On Thursday 28th September, SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, Ruth Maguire, led a Holyrood debate highlighting how flexible working allows business to maximise talent and drive inclusive growth.

The MSP, who recently hosted a successful briefing event on flexible working practices for local businesses, used the opportunity to highlight some examples of the excellent local practice shared at the event – where speakers included VOCA, Gallagher Healthcare, and North Ayrshire Council.

The debate also focused on the findings of a recent Timewise report, which set out how demand for flexible jobs massively outstrips supply, with only 11.9% of quality jobs, paying at least £20,000 FTE, being advertised as flexible, whilst 34% of people seeking employment in Scotland are looking for part-time or flexible vacancies.

Speaking in the debate, Ruth said:

“This is a ground-breaking report in and of itself, representing the first time that the ratio of quality jobs advertised as open to flexible working in Scotland has been researched.

And its findings are just as remarkable – setting out how demand for flexible working far outstrips supply – with just over a third of people in Scotland seeking part-time or flexible vacancies, whilst only around 11% of quality jobs are currently advertised as such.

We have a twofold problem: low availability of quality flexible working jobs, and poor advertisement of those that exist.

It means that a significant number of well qualified people become trapped in low paid and part time work, because they need flexibility but can’t find a quality part time or flexible job.

And it means that employers are missing out on hiring the best and most diverse talent to grow their business – including women returners, older workers, and disabled people – as well as those simply seeking to work differently.

Addressing this, expanding the availability and promotion of flexible working, would help to create a fairer Scotland and a stronger economy – one founded on inclusive growth and greater gender equality.”