New reason to offer flexible work in the UK: Democracy

An equal rights organisation is encouraging more employers to consider offering their staff flexible work — at least temporarily — for an unusual yet incredibly important cause: democracy. 

Centenary Action is a non-party campaigning coalition focused on promoting equality and representative democracy. One of its primary focuses is on women’s rights and ensuring women have an equal and fair opportunity to vote.

Ahead of the General Election on July 4, the coalition is calling for employers to take more of an active role in ensuring their teams can exercise their democratic rights, through an initiative they’re calling “The Promise.” 


The Centenary Action Promise for Business

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Businesses are encouraged to offer flex work so more employees can easily vote.

In the organisation’s own words, “The  Centenary Action Promise is a non-party political initiative focused on businesses and entrepreneurs, encouraging them to take a lead by sharing information on how to register to vote, apply for a postal/proxy vote and by enabling employees to vote on Polling Day through working from home or flexibly to get to the polling station.”

The Centenary is also incentivizing participation, offering businesses a certificate of engagement for adopting this crucial undertaking and also publishing a list of participants on their website. 

For companies looking to commit to ESG goals and/or demonstrate their dedication to social responsibility, it could be a great opportunity — and the many benefits of offering flexible working to employees would be a fantastic plus along the way. 


Flexible work makes it easy 

Perhaps one of the key reasons why flexible work is so beneficial, and why it remains so popular for most workers in the UK and abroad, is because it allows employees more control over their daily lives. 

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Flex work gives employees better work-life balance.

Flexible work is not just remote work or work-from-home opportunities, although those count as flex work as well; it’s also allowing employees more control over when and what time they work, such as more accessible shift work.

Flex jobs make work-life balance more accessible and easy than ever, especially now that legislation has been passed giving workers the right to request flexible work from their first day on the job. This includes every facet of life — whether it’s for childcare, health & well-being, or, in this case, ensuring workers can participate in the democratic process. 

Helen Pankhurst, Centenary Action Convenor, said: “Apathy, toxicity and negativity are creating a backwards step in gender equality. We want to galvanise women to get out and vote, be at the heart of decision making and create a more equitable playing field. 

“We want to call businesses to facilitate this too, which is why we are asking them to sign up to The Promise, to encourage staff to register to vote and make it easier to vote on the day through flexible working.”

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