Larger London-based firms with over 100 fee-earners are more likely to offer flexible working than the smaller ones, while outside London this trend is completely the reverse, according to a new flexible working survey.
The survey, by legal recruitment consultancy Graham Gill, also revealed that more firms offer part-time arrangements instead of flexitime. Lyndon Jennings, a senior consultant at Graham Gill, said: "Part-time hours would appear to have been on offer for some time, I'd imagine, to working mothers. However, firms seem to be more reluctant to offer other flexible working arrangements. Poss-ibly this is an attempt by firms to minimise the unnecessary disruption to their business."
Surprisingly, 75 per cent of the firms surveyed offer flexible working, but less than 10 per cent of men and 25 per cent of women entitled to it take advantage.
"With entitlement being linked to partner discretion, this discrepancy can only logically be explained by the stigma attached to flexible working," said Jennings.
On 6 April, the Employment Act 2002 introduced new procedures for employees with childcare responsibilities to request the right to work on a flexible basis.