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Research papers, journal and press articles are frequently published and we include key highlights in this section, which is regularly updated.

Supreme Court dismisses dispute over holiday entitlement
The Supreme Court has dismissed an employment case from a group of Transocean employees who argued that their entitlement for annual leave should be taken from their time spent offshore rather than onshore. This is not only of significance to offshore workers but also those working atypical shift patterns, especially those contracted an annualised hours basis including education workers.

British workers over-stretched and underwhelmed by long hours, 2007
An online survey has revealed that four out of 10 British workers claim they work more than 60 hours a week.

Flexible working now offered by 95% of employers, 2007
More employers than ever before are offering some kind of flexible working to their staff, according to the government's latest Work-Life Balance Employer Survey.

“Working Time Around the World” shows long hours culture still in UK, 2007
In a recent study by the United Nations agency, the International Labour Organisation, a quarter of the UK workforce put in more than 48 hours per week. That means UK workers work the longest hours of any developed nation putting us way ahead of the rest of Europe and America.

UK staff “denied flexible work”, 2007
A report by the Equal Opportunities Commission has shown that UK companies lag behind mainland Europe in the implementation of flexible working despite joint party approval of its benefits for business and employees.

CIPD and BCC show SMEs do their bit on flexible working, 2007

Research from the CIPD shows that small firms can implement flexible working arrangements better and with less bureaucracy than large firms – contrary to the perception that only large firms can manage flexible working successfully. Indeed according to a recent survey by the British Chambers of Commerce small and medium size businesses are embracing flexible working, with more than 60% of respondents indicating that they offer flexible working patterns to employees.

Flexible working legislation should cover all employees, 2007
82 percent of HRD professionals believe flexible working laws should be extended to all employees, a People Management poll has revealed, with 68 percent believing that flexible working has benefited their organisations.

Flexible working policy is "win-win", 2007
Flexible workers and part timers are breaking through the "glass ceiling" as top companies allow key staff to balance work and life, according to a recent Working Families study sponsored by Lehman Brothers.

Flexible working, an initiative in attracting and retaining staff, 2006
According to John Philpott, CIPD chief economist: "There was a downturn in the jobs market last year and there wasn't an improvement in candidate quality." According to the CIPD's Recruitment, Retention and Turnover survey eighty-two per cent of respondents experienced recruitment difficulties in 2005. Overall labour turnover has risen to 18.3 per cent from 15.7 per cent the previous year. These difficulties have led to 29% of these organisations offering flexible working.

UK staff disillusioned by lack of work-life balance, 2006
According to a major study by Accor Services of over 10,000 workers in 8 countries the UK workforce is one of the most disillusioned in Europe.

Nearly half the workforce wants fewer hours, 2006
According to the TUC a " stunning" 45 per cent of people at work want to work fewer hours, and more than two million people - 1 in 10 employees - would downshift by giving up pay for a better work-life balance.

Plans to increase paid holiday will improve work/life balance, 2006
The TUC’s submission to the government's consultation on increasing the statutory minimum annual leave in the UK says that it will bring huge benefits to employees and employers alike.

Labour Market Review, 2006
This review, published by the Office for National Statistics, shows that people are increasingly choosing to work fewer hours and the level of part time working has grown. As a result the average hours worked by an individual has had a downwards trend since a peak at the end of 1994. It seems to Pasfield Curran that organisations must adapt to this trend by increasing the productivity of their current workforce or accept the on-costs of additional employees.

This view is backed up by Managing Change: Practical ways to reduce long hours and reform working practices, 2005

This is a practical guide to tackling long hours culture, published jointly by DTI, TUC and CBI. It states that working smarter is key to improving employee satisfaction and productivity. It explores how firms can manage change to improve working patterns and address long hours culture in the workplace. Initiatives include part-time working, flexi-time, job-sharing and annualised hours. The authors claim that these initiatives can maintain or even improve productivity.

Overtime 'increases risk of illness', 2005
Long working hours increase your chances of illness and injury, irrespective of what job you do, an American study reported in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Routinely working at least 12 hours a day posed a 37% extra risk over those working fewer hours, while a 60-hour week was associated with a 23% increased risk, according to its authors.

Employees more aware of flexible working, 2005
More employees are aware of their right to request flexible working hours according to the DTI’s Second Flexible Working Employee Survey. This found that 65% of the UK workforce were aware of their right to request flexible working, compared with 41% in 2003.

Making flexibility work, 2005
The publication of a new CIPD guide, Flexible Working :The Implementation Challenge follows more than 2 years of research work. The research involved hundreds of CIPD members and resulted in the publication of Flexible Working : Impact and Implementation – An Employer Survey. Participants stated that the most popular reasons for introducing flexible working were to increase staff retention and meeting employee needs.

Trades Union Congress - 5 million work a day a week unpaid, says TUC, 2005
Nearly five million employees (4,759,000) worked on average an extra day a week in unpaid overtime in 2005 (7 hours 24 minutes) according to a TUC analysis of official figures published.

Flexible working takes off, 2004
According to the Workplace Employment Relations Survey sponsored by ACAS and the DTI, the incidence of flexible working has significantly increased. Workplaces offering staff the opportunity to work flexibly has almost doubled in the last six years. The authors state that the understanding of responsibilities for balancing work and family life is changing, around two-thirds (65 per cent) of managers believed that it was the responsibility of individual employees, compared to 84 per cent of managers in 1998.

Calling time on working time, 2004
Research carried out by the CIPD shows that of those people that work more than 48 hours per week, a clear majority do so largely as a result of their own choice. Abuse of the opt out clause was found to be limited with more than three quarters of those that had signed it feeling that no pressure had been applied for them to do so. Only a small minority had to sign the opt out at the same time as signing their employment contract, a practice which is roundly discredited.

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