Let's talk about flex

CSP and the NHS trade unions have launched a new campaign, to promote flexible working for all staff 

In the Workplace Let's talk about flex

Join the campaign to #Talk AboutFlex

Flexible working provides an important opportunity to address the staffing crisis across the NHS, by helping to attract and retain staff. 

Despite changes being introduced in September 2021 to enhance rights for flexible working, there are gaps in both staff and managers’ awareness of rights and policy, areas of poor practice, and lingering barriers and misperceptions. 

To overcome these issues, we’ve joined forces with the other NHS unions to launch a new campaign – Let’s #TalkAboutFlex – encouraging people to make better use of flexible working. 

With so many options, flexible working isn’t just for people with caring responsibilities, or those in non-clinical roles. Whatever your job, flex can help you to manage your commitments, manage your wellbeing, and create a better work-life balance. 

Take a look at our new microsite, which is packed with practical examples, tips and resources to help you find your flex. 

The resource outlines your rights at work – and practical steps to arrange flex with your service – and will be a valuable resource for members across the UK, including those outside the NHS.

We’ve also created our Leading Flex page – to inspire managers and service leads to start reaping the benefits of flex for their team.

What is flexible working?

Flexible working is about you having more control over where, when and how much you work. There are lots of ways to make flex work across different roles and career stages.

Flex is about finding the arrangement that works for you, your team and your patients or service users.

What are the benefits?

Being able to balance your job with responsibilities and interests outside work can have a big impact on your health and wellbeing.

For employers, offering flexible working has been shown to boost recruitment – nine out of 10 jobseekers want increased flexibility, and for many, flexible working is one of the most important factors in choosing a new job. 

Research has shown that job adverts offering flexible working attracted up to 30 per cent more applicants, and that greater flexibility helps to increase equality and diversity in our workforce.

Flex is also a great way to retain experienced staff. Making flexible working opportunities available leads to greater engagement, and evidence across the NHS has shown that increasing flexibility leads to reduced vacancy rates.

Ultimately, by supporting NHS staff, flexible working helps us to offer better patient care.

Why is flex so important in the NHS right now?

The NHS is facing a shortfall in its workforce of between 260,000 – 360,000 in the next 12 years. Right now, there are over 120,000 vacancies – around one in every twelve posts. And with leaver rates at a historic high, things are going in the wrong direction.

The workforce crisis is creating a vicious cycle of increased stress and burnout for health workers, and negatively impacting patient care.

A lack of flexibility can drive out staff who would otherwise stay – last year over 30,000 staff left their NHS role due to work-life balance.

On the flip side, flexible working offers a big opportunity to attract, retain and support staff.

With around one in three NHS staff having caring responsibilities, and 28 per cent aged over 50, the potential impact of better flex is huge.

How can you find your flex? Whether it’s balancing work with caring responsibilities, flexible retirement, or time to develop your interests outside work, better flex could help you achieve your goals and improve your health and wellbeing.

Our #TalkAboutFlex website and campaign brings together advice, resources and case studies to help you get started on your flex journey. 

Find Out More

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