Retail

M&S To Offer Flexible Working Options For 'Better Work-Life Balance'

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British retailer Marks & Spencer has announced plans to launch Worklife, a new flexible working offering, as it seeks to create a better work-life balance for its employees.

The retailer has worked closely with its National Business Involvement Group to offer additional flexible working options for retail managers working with the company.

From January 2023, more than 3,000 retail managers will have the option to work either full-time or part-time hours and spread their hours over five days, or to work a four-day compressed week, or a nine-day compressed fortnight.

Part-time managers will be able to access their pro-rated version of the compressed ways of working on the offer, the company noted.

Positive Impact On Family Life

The move follows a successful trial across 100 stores in the UK, with 75% of the retail managers participating agreeing that compressed hours had had a positive impact on their family life.

Simon Pollitt, store manager at M&S Stratford-on-Avon who took part in the trial, said, “Working nine days over two weeks means I can get alternative Wednesdays off to look after my one-year-old son – giving us quality time together and also helping to save money on nursery costs. It’s fantastic and feels ground-breaking in our field.”

The Worklife programme will also see the launch of Job Share Finder – a new initiative to make flexible working easier for those able to job share.

The platform will allow employees, across stores and support centres, to upload a bio and connect with potential job share matches.

The idea originated at M&S’ International Women’s Day Ideathon in March earlier this year, inspired by those returning from maternity leave and wanting more flexibility.

'Good Work-Life Balance'

Sarah Findlater, group HR director at M&S, said, “We want M&S to be a great place to work and shop – that means having engaged colleagues with a good work-life balance.

"Retail is a fast-paced industry, but that shouldn’t mean missing out on the moments that matter. Whether caring commitments, the chance to get involved in your local community or to prioritise your own mental and physical wellbeing."

© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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