Flexible working: dads want choice, too


Flexible working, particularly in relation to child care, is heavily skewed towards mums. HR magazine editor Arvind Hickman argues a shift in employer attitudes is needed ahead of next year’s shared parental changes.

Recently, I met up with a business associate at the Brockwell Lido for lunch. When we entered the bright, airy cafeteria the noise of toddlers, babies and stay-at-home mums was instantly deafening: “Great choice for a business meeting,” I thought.

The waitress told me this scene is a daily occurrence at the Lido café, and who could fault mums for it. But one thing that was noticeably absent from the cafe, until I had arrived, was the presence of men.

Why is it that women disproportionately take on the primary parenting role? The short answer is that current legislation and societal norms are heavily geared towards mothers assuming primary child care. And, according to our report on flexible working, dads aren’t happy about the lack of flexibility.

A recent study, by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), found fewer than 10% of new fathers take more than two weeks of paternity leave. This figure drops to only 2% for male managers, citing greater pressure to return to work early.

Worryingly, a quarter of men don’t take any time off after the birth of their child, missing out on those magical early days of a newborn’s life.

Aside from workplace pressure, poor pay is cited as a huge disincentive after the two-week statutory paternity period.

New shared parental legislation, being introduced in April 2015, means that men and women will be able to choose how they split parental leave. However, our report and the ILM study shows that flexibility alone will not lead to more even parental care.

Employer attitudes that discourage men from requesting time off for child care need to change, and here’s the reason why: dads want choice and flexibility, too.

Workplace flexibility is an economic issue, not a gender issue. The old-fashioned gender stereotype about men being the breadwinner is not a reality in many households today.

Latte papas

In some countries, this shift towards more stay-at-home dads is well underway. In the oft-quoted beacon of gender equality Sweden, parents can share 480 days of parental leave per child – 390 days of which is paid at 80% of salary. It’s a system I have personally benefitted from as my child is half Swedish and spent his first six months there.

This has led to Swedish dads, known locally as ‘latte papas’, taking 24% of parental leave in 2012. Sure, it’s not quite ‘equality’, but a split that is currently unimaginable in the UK. Importantly, it provides families choice, and while the parental split may never be equal it will at least be fair.

While it is difficult to compare the business landscape of a social democracy to the firmly capitalist UK, a workplace culture that encourages dads to share parental leave benefits parents, business and society.

It allows mums to ease back into work more seamlessly and ensure their careers are not halted by motherhood, if they so choose. It also allows businesses to retain talented individuals that might otherwise be lost to parenting. Finally, it allows dads to no longer feel they are missing out.

How successful the UK’s new shared parental rules will be remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: dads want workplace flexibility, and let’s hope business rises to this challenge.

This article was written by Arvind Hickman (pictured) editor of HR magazine.

Flexible working: dads want choice

Flexible working

Archaic it may be, but when most people think of flexible working arrangements, it’s highly likely that mothers spring to mind. But the tide is turning. For a start, employers are being urged to respond to a growing resentment among young fathers who feel they are being unfairly treated when it comes to flexible working.

Their dissatisfaction is highlighted in Working Families’ recent report Time, Health and the Family. The charity’s publication is timely: the Children and Families Bill, which extends the right to request flexible working to all employees and introduces shared parental leave, has just become law after receiving royal assent. And the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has announced that the extended right to request flexible working will come into force in June (it had been scheduled for April).

Father time

According to the Working Families research, the legislation could have a big impact on organisations. According to almost one third (31%) of parents, flexible working is currently unavailable to them, with education, retail and healthcare the three sectors least likely to offer it. Fathers in the 26-35 age group are the most resentful; especially those with a single child, and this annoyance can have a negative impact on productivity and motivation.

Working Families’ chief executive Sarah Jackson says many employers still assume the mother is the main carer and should be the first point of call when an issue arises at school or nursery. This concept, she adds, is fast becoming outdated. “The male employee, focused full-time on his work, is becoming a museum-piece,” she says. “Tomorrow’s workers, male and female, will expect time and space for their family lives and responsibilities alongside their work.”

Jackson adds that more than 90% of UK organisations claim to offer at least one form of flexible working which, if true, indicates that employers are not doing enough to communicate internally what options are available. “What’s not known about won’t be asked for, and if resentment builds up about a lack of flexibility, performance will suffer,” she warns.

Separate research from Hay Group reveals that 63% of UK companies claim to be supporting people to achieve a better work/life balance, up from 51% in a year.

But how true are these boasts? Caroline Gatrell, a senior lecturer at Lancaster University Management School, has researched fathers and flexible working and says they get a raw deal. She claims that while many employers acknowledge fathers should be able to work more flexibly, they subtly discourage men from making requests to do so. “Many fathers are disappointed when trying to access family-friendly working opportunities because these are refused,” Gatrell says. “They feel resentful if employers are winning awards for ‘paper policies’ that do not work in practice for individual dads.”

“Organisations might have the statistics to support how they help men to work differently but, in many cases, the reality is line managers cannot get their heads around the idea,” she adds. “There is also an assumption that men and women who want to work flexibly are not as committed to their career. But many people only want to work this way for a few years while their children are young.”

Justice for fathers?

Now that the Children and Families Bill has received royal assent, mums and dads are able to share parental leave in their child’s first year. Fathers can also request time off

to attend antenatal or adoption appointments. In addition, the legislation means every employee with 26 weeks’ continuous service will be able to request flexible working, whether or not they have parenting or carer responsibilities (those in the latter group already have the right).

The legislation states that employers must give reasonable consideration to every application. Employers can use their own HR procedures to consider requests, but they must respond within three months. What will notchange is the ‘one request per 12 months’ rule, and workers still only have a right to request flexible working – not a right for it to be automatically granted.

Emma Whiting, a partner at law firm Addleshaw Goddard, says the current law is overly prescriptive and leads to compensation claims for minor technical breaches of what

is a strict statutory framework. “The introduction of the concept of reasonableness is likely to cause the biggest issue for employers,” she says. “Currently there is no requirement under the statutory procedure for employers to be reasonable or act in good faith. What will be reasonable will vary from case to case. To refuse a request without any real consideration of its merit will not be reasonable.”

The valid reasons for refusing a request will remain, and include: if a change would increase costs; have a detrimental effect on a company’s ability to meet customer demand; make it difficult to reorganise work among the remaining staff or mean recruiting additional workers; and have a negative effect on quality or performance. “There will be no new right to flexible working, simply a right to have a conversation with employers about flexible working,” points out Heather Platt, a barrister at Riverview Chambers.

Employers must be careful not to give priority to requests from parents as this could fuel discrimination complaints from employees without children. At employee assistance programme provider CiC, which last year was named by Working Families as one of the UK’s most family-friendly small businesses, flexible working requests go beyond childcare and other caring responsibilities, says clinical director Libby Payne. “One-third of flexible working requests now relate to education and training,” she explains.

Legal headaches

Not considering such claims could be a potential headache for employers, lawyers warn. “Prioritising mothers could result in sex discrimination claims from men, and prioritising parents could give rise to age discrimination claims,” says Jennifer Nicol, a partner at law firm Doyle Clayton. “One exception to this is where the employee making the request is disabled. The duty to make reasonable adjustments may mean an employer must agree to their flexible working request in priority to others.”  Acas’s guidance explains more on what employers should do when a member of staff makes a request, to ensure all applications are handled fairly to avoid accusations of discrimination.

But it’s not all about compliance. With the revised law covered widely in the media, many employers are keen to highlight both internally and externally how positively they view requests from all staff to work flexibly. They already understand the business benefits of retaining talented people and reducing absenteeism. Automotive and cycle retailer Halfords Group is one example. It recently ran an internal campaign to ensure its 11,000 staff were aware of its flexible working policy which, says people director Jonathan Crookall, supports workers with and without young children. He says anyone making an application will receive a response based purely on the work needs of their team.

“I’ve not had a single case of someone challenging our policy,” he says. “We also operate flexible start and finish times and have good practice established around sabbaticals. One of our most senior traders is on one now.  He isn’t a recent parent, but we are supporting him on a trip of a lifetime after many years of service.”

Crookall adds that although formal applications for flexible working are recorded at head office, many requests are agreed informally between staff members and their line manager. “We recognise that, sometimes, people may require more flexibility to support their commitments outside of work,” he says. “We offer part-time working, job-sharing, working from home, compressed working hours and shift working.”

Stretching SME’s

Smaller companies can worry about the impact on the day-to-day running of their business when individuals ask to change their working patterns, but digital marketing agency MVF has allowed male employees to work flexibly without any problems. One man has altered his office hours to 10am-6pm to accommodate his long commute, and another to do the morning school run. A third changes his hours to fit in his cricket playing, while a semi-professional squash player leaves early when he has a match. “At present, eight fathers work from home two or three days a week so they can spend more time with their families without any effect on their careers,” says MVF’s HR director Amanda Nuttall.

However, not all SMEs welcome the changes outlined in the Children and Families Bill. Charlie Mullins, CEO and founder of independent plumbing company Pimlico Plumbers, claims the upcoming amendments regarding shared parental leave are another blow to Britain’s small businesses. “By the stroke of a pen, the coalition has massacred small businesses with a universe of bureaucracy that will cause as much turbulence in its administration as in its practice,” he says. “I am not happy that under these new laws, twice as many workers as before can now come and go as they please, regardless of the impact to business.”

He says his views are not tainted by having a majority of male plumbers because most of his office staff are female. “We have several couples who work together within our workforce,” he says. “If everyone at Pimlico Plumbers took advantage of the shared parental leave and several staff took this leave at the same time, how could we function?”

Yet Mullins insists he is pleased to see fathers’ rights are at the heart of the debate. “We usually give new dads time off. My HR manager took a few weeks to bond with his baby and support his wife, and we always encourage this. But when these things become law, in people’s minds they become a ‘right’. Even if a new dad doesn’t want or need to take several weeks off work, the chances are he will do so if Bob on the other side of the office has taken advantage.”

According to Working Families’ Jackson, it’s all about choice. “Shared parental leave is all about giving parents a choice about who works and who cares,” she says. “Current arrangements are heavily loaded towards mothers, and we know there is a real desire from fathers to be more involved in the day-to-day care of their young children.” That, though, is unlikely to be music to the ears of Mullins and other concerned small business owners.

However, regarding the right to request flexible working, Jackson says the impact might not be as big as some companies fear. “When the right to request for certain groups came in, there were dire warnings from some employers about the floodgates opening and everyone wanting to work flexibly, undermining business,” she says. “In reality, this hasn’t happened.”


Flexible working: what you need to know ahead of the rules


The extensions to current legislation on flexible working are due later this year, giving more employees with service of six months or more rights to request flexible working.

The new legislation will require employers to consider requests for greater flexibility in terms of hours, times and location, from a greater proportion of their workforce, which means HR departments will need to be prepared.

Historically, flexible working legislation was intended mainly for childcare, and later broadened out to allow for other types of care. HR departments have not found these rules too onerous but some fear challenges when the reasons for the requests become more diverse, such as for religious observance and lifestyle choice.

The new laws need not be such a cause for worry, however. With some planning it should be possible to turn a regulatory requirement into an opportunity to create positive cultural changes throughout your organisation.

We are already working with some of the UK’s biggest employers to help them navigate the system. Here are some tips on on how to plan for the new rules:

1. Don’t panic. You have most of the knowledge and skills to handle these changes, you just need to change mindset and think about context. The requests that staff make (changes to hours, times, locations) will be no different – it’s their reasons that may differ.

2. Review policy and process. This is an opportunity to make your process more user-friendly for both sides. The tight response times will disappear, replaced by a principle-based system that makes the rules easier.

3.Take the opportunity to refresh knowledge. Everyone will need to be up to speed on the circumstances in which the right to request flexible working will apply. There are eight reasons why a flexible working request might not be granted because it is not appropriate for your business (for example, detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand). These, plus how the indirect discrimination rules relate to them, need to be clear to all.

4. Think broadly. Ask all concerned to think about the broader impact of more flexible working in your organisation. For example, any data security risks that come with more people accessing company systems from away from the office. Do you have a bring your own device or remote working policy in place?

5. Be balanced. Think about both the benefits and the challenges of better work-life balance. There will be a positive effect on morale, but managers may need coaching to adapt their management style to the differences between managing a present team and a distributed one, or a team that work different hours from one another.

The new flexible working rules may support initiatives to improve workplace culture and help to create a great place to work. If there is one disadvantage to the current system, it is that it favours only one element of the workforce (those with family/care commitments). The new laws will solve that problem by including everybody, so this is an opportunity to do more than just demonstrate compliance.

This article was published courtesy of HR magazine and was written by Vicky Roberts, head of v-learning at HR and employment law firm Vista.


Extended flexible working rights could create unexpected issues for employers


The Government’s decision to extend flexible working rights to all employees next year could create unexpected issues for some employers, such as multiple requests from workers who don’t want to work on Fridays.

From April 2014, the right to request flexible working will be extended to all employees, not just those that have children under the age of 17 or responsibilities as a carer.

Under the current regulations, the employee has to make a request in writing and the employer has to discuss the request with the employee within 28 days, giving their decision within a further 14 days.

The employee then has 14 days to appeal that decision if they wish. The changes to the rules next year mean that employers and employees will no longer have to process requests in a particular way and within a specific timeframe.

This move to a less formal process, combined with the decision to open up flexible working rights to all employees is likely to be welcomed by businesses.

Research published by the CBI in July found firms can save up to 13% of their workforce costs by embracing more sophisticated and less rigid working practices.

While most employers will want to accommodate flexible working requests wherever possible and appreciate that less rigid working practices can bring real benefits in terms of worker loyalty and productivity, they should be prepared for some difficult discussion along the way.

In some instances, where workplace attendance for a pre-determined set of hours is essential to meeting the operational needs of the business, the business should be seen to be considering all such requests in a structured way.

One person’s right to flexible working could be another’s annoyance and a rush on requests to avoid work on a specific day of the week, Friday for example, could put the employer in a difficult position from both an operational and employee relations perspective.

Receiving a number of requests to condense a five-day work week into four, with Friday or Monday off, could force the employer into a situation where it would be required to agree to some requests while rejecting others.

Also, if some employees are allowed to work through their lunch break in order to extend their working day, allowing them to reduce the number of days they work, this could cause resentment and might also leave the employer susceptible to potential breaches of health and safety regulations if rest breaks are not being adhered to.

Flexible working requests often include the right to work remotely for part of the working day or week.

Despite the fact that these days most workers are equipped to communicate with the office or with customers via a smartphone or another device which is connected to the office shared drive, some employers might not be aware that if they allow staff to work remotely, they may be required to ensure that their home-based work station is fit for purpose and compliant with health and safety regulations.

Crucially for employers, the eight grounds for refusing requests for flexible working, which are currently available for employers will remain in place. These include the burden of additional costs; detrimental effect on the ability to meet customer demand; inability to reorganise work among existing staff; detrimental impact on quality and performance; insufficiency of working during the periods the employee is proposed to work and planned structural changes.

Despite the more relaxed process for handling flexible working requests, employers would be wise to stick to current procedures where possible to ensure that all requests are treated fairly and in a timely fashion. Failing to do so could increase the likelihood of workplace resentment and potential disputes.

It is also a good idea to consider a three-month trial when flexible working arrangements are granted. After three months, a meeting should take place to discuss how the arrangement is working out for both parties and changes can be implemented if necessary. This approach would help employers to demonstrate that they have given fair consideration to the individual’s request to work flexibly, even if the right is later withdrawn.

Although not without their concerns, the incoming changes to flexible working rights represent a massive opportunity for employers to change the way they operate while improving employees’ work life balance. The key will be managing requests openly and fairly for all, while ensuring the operational needs of the business and its customers are met.

This article was published courtesy of HR magazine and was written by Paula Whelan (pictured) head of employment at law firm Shakespeares


Increasing flexible working and offering shared parental leave will lead to a more motivated workforce, says minister


More employers in the UK need to offer flexible working and promote shared parental leave if we want “total equality” across the UK workforce, according to employment relations minister, Jo Swinson.

Speaking at an ACAS and the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) briefing in London yesterday, Swinson said more businesses must start to “change traditional working cultures”.

“I believe [flexible working and shared parental leave] will be economically beneficial to employers,” Swinson said. “With these measures workers are more likely to be happy in work, you’ll see reduced sickness absence, improvement in mental health issues and will result in more motivated and healthy workers.”

Swinson added: “We need to change working cultures to reflect a modern workforce. We are still stuck in the 1950s – all these old stereotypes are a thing of the past.”

Also speaking at the event was Anne Sharp chief executive of ACAS, who echoed Swinson’s thoughts. “Flexible working is about modernising the workforce,” she said.

Sharp said these proposals present “great opportunities” for business to get the best out of their workforce and will give them the “ability to recruit and retain the most talented employees”.

She said: “It used to be seen as a perk and for years companies used to say ‘it will work there but not in my company’, but we’ve seen it can work.”

“Offering flexible working can also help plug the large skills gap we have in the UK.”

The changes are scheduled to come into force in 2014 for the extended right to request flexible working and 2015 for shared parental leave.

Any employee who has been with the company for 26 weeks or more will have the right to request flexible working and an employer will have to consider every request.

Internal memo sparks debate on working from home

How important is it for employees to work together physically in the same place? Very, according to Marissa Mayer, the Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo! Inc.

Last week Ms Mayer sent round an internal memo which set out that from June this year Yahoo employees with work from home arrangements will be required to come into the office. Apparently, the memo said:

“Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home.”

This has sparked a debate on whether remote working leads to greater productivity and job satisfaction, or whether it kills creativity and is a chance to slack off.

Advocates of flexible working argue that it can lead to real estate savings, increased productivity and reduced sickness absence. It is also especially important for those with young families or caring responsibilities. Ironically, Ms Mayer returned to work only two weeks after the birth of her first child, yet some are already labelling this as a step back for women in the workplace.

Employers should think carefully before implementing similar policies in the UK. There is no direct obligation in the UK to allow employees to work from home, but discrimination issues could arise as a result. For example, generally more women request to work from home than men do, so an outright ban could amount to indirect sex discrimination.

It will be interesting to see whether this has any impact on the ACAS consultation launched this week on the extension of the right to request flexible working.

The content of this article does not constitute legal advice and it should not be relied upon. Specific legal advice may be required to address your specific circumstance.

Acas launches consultation on code of practice for flexible working


Acas has launched a consultation on a draft code of practice for the right to request flexible working.

Under the government’s proposals, announced in November last year, the right to request flexible working will be extended to all employees who have worked for their employer for 26 weeks or more.

Employers are obliged to consider all requests in a reasonable manner.

The current statutory procedure will be repealed and the government has asked Acas to produce a code of practice to help businesses manage this new extended right.

Acas will also produce a non statutory good practice guide with practical examples of managing this in the workplace. This will be published alongside the final Code.

Acas is seeking views from employees and employers, particularly small businesses who often don’t have HR support and may face challenges in managing flexible working requests.

The draft Code is designed to offer short, practical advice to make it as easy as possible for employers to handle requests and fit them to their specific circumstances and procedures.

Chair of Acas Ed Sweeney (pictured) said: “This draft Code builds on our knowledge and expertise across all workplace issues. It will make it easier for employers to be fair in considering requests to work flexibly which helps to maintain good working relationships and minimise discrimination.

“We’re very keen to hear views on the draft Code from anyone who has an interest in flexible working.”

The consultation closes on 20 May 2013.

Nick Clegg to confirm flexible parental leave


The deputy prime minister will announce today that from 2015 a flexible system of parental leave will be introduced. It’s aimed at driving more women back into the workforce and giving men the option to care for their child.

The proposals were first outlined last month but in a speech in London today, Clegg is set to confirm the plans.

Under the new set of proposals, a mother will still be entitled to 52 weeks’ maternity leave – three-quarters of it paid, but will be able to trigger flexible leave at any point after the first two weeks. This can be done by sharing the time, taking it in turns with her partner or taking time off together. The only rule will be that no more than 12 months can be taken in total, with no more than nine at guaranteed pay.

Clegg will say: “You won’t get to 30 and suddenly have to choose motherhood or work because we’re making the changes that will give you a route back.”

He will add: “These are major reforms and at a time of continuing economic difficulty it is sensible to do them in a number of steps rather than one giant leap. More and more men are taking on childcare duties or want to and flexible leave builds on that.”

Responding to the proposals, TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: “The reforms announced today will make it easier for parents to choose how they want to share their leave to look after newborn children. It’s great that parents who want to adopt will be given more support too.

“Allowing all staff to ask to work flexibly is common sense to good employers. But we know that too many businesses are still reluctant to modernise working practices so the government is right to give them a nudge with this new universal right to request flexible working.”

Barber added: “These reforms will make life easier for millions of working parents. Businesses will also benefit from a more engaged workforce and a larger pool of people to recruit from.”

All employees to be given the right to flexible working, says Clegg


Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg (pictured) will announce this week the extension of the right to request flexible working hours to all employees.

Clegg believes changes to working practices will encourage more women back into employment.

In a keynote speech in London tomorrow, he will encourage a culture in which people feel confident to ask employers to change their working hours.

The Right to Request scheme, which only applies to those with children under 17, relatives and some carers, would allow everyone to ask their employer for flexible hours if they wish to help others with childcare.

Employers would be forced to consider all requests ‘in a reasonable way’. Clegg believes new legislation, expected by 2014, would “drive a culture shift in the workplace”, to fit a modern economy.

Clegg will say: “If we had the same proportion of female entrepreneurs as the US, then the economy would be better off by £42 billion.”

He will also say: “While women in this country are now better qualified than men and more girls go to university, they lag behind in the workplace. That requires sweeping away the clapped-out rules that make no sense for modern families.”

UK work-life balance organisation, Working Families, has supported the reforms and believes it will be “good for business”.

Sarah Jackson, chief executive of Working Families, said: “Many businesses already offer the right to all employees because it leads to performance gains.

“The Government’s own assessment shows the extension will bring a net benefit of £222.5 million to employers through increased productivity and through savings from reduced sickness, absenteeism and recruitment costs. Flexible working is an essential tool for business success.”

Jackson added: “Families too will benefit when more workplaces adopt flexible working as the norm. There has been great progress since the introduction of flexible working rights, but in many areas there is a reality gap between good intentions and the facts of family life.

“There could not be a better time to boost the UK’s performance by changing the way we work to enable all employees to perform at their best. What we need from the Government is a consistent positive message about the value of flexible working to promoting economic growth.”

Number of stressed employees trebles if they have inflexible hours, according to Kenexa High Performance Institute

femaile mantal health

The number of workers reporting unreasonable levels of stress is more than three times higher if their working hours were inflexible, according to research by the Kenexa High Performance Institute (KHPI).

Key findings of the KHPI research reveal 68% of respondents with inflexible work schedules reported unreasonable work stress and just 20% of respondents with flexible work schedules reported unreasonable stress.

The KHPI research also showed that a lack of flexibility in the workplace is having an impact on intentions to leave; 59% of respondents with inflexible work schedules claimed they were looking to leave in the next 12 months, compared to just 22% of respondents with flexible work schedules.

This research indicates that organisations providing more flexibility around work schedules will see benefits in terms of reduced stress in the workplace.

“With 57% of businesses planning to adapt their working hours during the Olympics, we’re likely to see an overall reduction in stress levels. This is contrary to reports that workers in London will see stress levels rise from the Olympics,” said Rena Rasch, research director of KHPI.

“Stress is associated with a wide range of health problems, which can increase absenteeism and reduce an employee’s ability to focus. Flexing work schedules should be possible in the vast majority of cases, particularly with the technology we have today to keep in touch.”

Technology is one of the three key pillars that have contributed to the success of flexible working at Unilever.

Chris Raia, Unilever’s global agile working practices leader, said: “We’ve implemented a lot of new technologies in two categories: the first we call advanced mobility, which means the ability to get your data from anywhere and get your job done, this includes great laptops or smartphone devices.

“The second technology group is called virtual collaboration technology, which is things like Microsoft Lync, Skype, Communicator – the technologies that allow people to communicate virtually from distributed sites.”

Flexible working also requires a high degree of trust between employer and employee. Cirkle PR chairman, Caroline Kinsey, offers all her workers completely flexible hours: “Flexibility and trust is at the heart of our agency. People can shift their working day to the hours that suit them in order to minimise stress levels. To fit in with family commitments or to avoid the rush-hour traffic, for example, some people come in at 7am and leave at 4pm without any guilt.

“The majority of staff works at home on a Friday to eliminate the stress of commuting altogether. We are just as committed to delivering for our clients as any other business, the difference is that we don’t believe it should be about the hours you put into work, but rather the work you put into the hours. An impressive financial track record and outstanding staff and client retention levels are tribute to how successfully this works for us.”