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Survey reveals flexible working hours key for staff retention

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According to research carried out by Employsure, Australia’s leading workplace relations specialists, over a third of Australian employers believe flexible work arrangements is the best way stop staff seeking alternative employment.

The survey involving 461 small to medium businesses revealed that work-life balance ranked the highest for staff retention over pay rises and training.

Edward Mallett, Managing Director of Employsure, said “our research clearly shows that staff often need to organise working hours around family commitments and they appreciate the opportunity to do so. This is seen as more compelling for staff retention than remuneration, training, and often costly enticements such as staff events.”

Mr Mallet said the high costs involved in recruitment advertising and the time invested in hiring and training means SMEs should focus on keeping staff happy.

“Considering our new research, employers should approach requests for flexible working arrangements with an open mind. Addressing this real-world issue will help managers retain staff and make their workplace more desirable to new recruits,” Mr Mallett said.

Mr Mallett added that rejecting requests for special arrangements could land employers in hot water.

“This is not simply a management issue,” he said. “There is a serious side to the picture. Permanent employees are entitled to apply for flexible working arrangements if they have been with the company for 12 months and: are the parent or primary carer for school-aged or younger children; are a carer; have a disability; are 55 or older; are experiencing family or domestic violence or they provide care or support to someone in their household or immediate family who are victims of family or domestic violence.”